On this Pentecost Day, as we live in the midst of a world and nation in crisis, in worship, through God’s word, we have heard the invitation to be a part of making the world new. We all have a part to play in this story. As this week has unfolded, I have found myself wrestling with what my part is in all of this.
A friend of mine shared this article, “For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies,” from Sojourners that was really helpful to me as I did the wrestling. At the top of the list of suggestions given in this article is the invitation to “Listen more. Talk less.”
I’ve been listening this week to the words of my friend Darron Story. You know Darron – he has filled the pulpit – shared of his story, his heart and the Gospel with our congregation on more than one occasion in the past year. Every time he has been with you, he has told me afterwards how much he loves and appreciates you and the chance to lead worship in your midst. I have heard you echo very similar words about your time with him – how much his presence, his heart, his story, his words have blessed you.
Darron is someone who the Spirit of God is using to help make this world of ours new in the here and now. Darron shared this sermon with Second Presbyterian Church a little over a year ago, but posted it again this week. I am sharing it with you, because his words were words I needed to hear – words that both convicted and inspired me in the midst of my wrestling to understand what part I have to play in all of this.
At the end of this sermon, Darron names that it will take all of us – the whole human race coming together – to make this world of ours new. I heard him echo those same words this past week, in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd:
It’s been a weird 24 hours – to tell you the truth – it’s been crazy…It’s obvious that we are not growing as a society from these incidents that continue to happen – that we are not heeding our history – in many respects we are repeating it and that my friends is a problem. It’s disheartening, it makes me sad, it makes me angry, but at the same time I still have hope, because I just believe that underneath all of this there is more good in our world rather than evil. Because when you have things like this happen it is straight up E-V-I-L – evil – it’s not anything else but evil.
We have to come together and say enough is enough – I don’t know what else has to happen on the streets of Anytown, USA for us to come together and say enough is enough. We have to get everyone involved – this problem is too big – we’ve got to stand together united as a human race. If you don’t have hope you don’t have anything – I have great hope – that most of the people in our communities, in our city, in our country – know that the things that happened in Minneapolis were wrong and shouldn’t happen to anyone, regardless of who you are, where you come from. This needs to be a united front between human beings saying enough is enough. Human beings – everyone who believes that this is wrong – this is something that we all have to lock arms against and say enough is enough. We need love. We need action. We need to all stand together.Darron Story
At the end of his sermon, Darron shares these words from 1 Peter 4:8 – “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I am praying that as we continue to live through these days that we would love – that we would love each other – our neighbors – deeply. One of the ways we love, is we listen – we listen more and talk less. We seek to understand. We take in the story of another. The invitation is to start here – to listen with deep love to Darron – to his words – to his story – knowing that his love for us is deep as well. I am praying that the Spirit of God would continue to move in him, in us, in our communities, our nation and world – so that we all might be made new.