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The Peace of Christ

Loving God, Not Hate

May 31, 2020

Father David Jones

Reflections

Precious Lord, take my hand

Lead me on, let me stand

I am tired, I am weak, I am worn

Through the storm, through the night

Lead me on through the light

Take my hand, precious Lord

And lead me home

When my way grows dreary

Precious Lord, lead me near

When my life is almost gone

At the river I will stand

Guide my feet, hold my hand

Take my hand, precious Lord

And lead me home

“Precious Lord, Take My Hand” by Thomas Dorsey

I didn’t know what to say today

So I called on the ancestors

And asked what is there left to say

It seems to me that everything has been said

I cannot speak to what has not been heard

But what is there to say and to whom do I need to say what?

And Thomas Dorsey came to the ambo

And of course, if Uncle Tommy came

Miss Lena McLin sent him

I wanted to, Lord know I tried, I wanted today’s sermon to be from

Deborah Cox’s sermon Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here

But young folks have to give way to the wisdom of old folks

Especially when old hate is in the air.

How did we get here?

We have come over a way that with tears that has been watered

How did we get here?

We have come treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered

The blood of the Lamb

The blood on the hands of Pontius Pilate

The blood of the majority

The blood of drugs

The blood of mass incarceration

The blood of police brutality

The blood of murdered

The blood of the martyrs

The blood of people killed for sport

But let us be clear and let us not forget although they were killed,

we die for freedom

we die for Christ sake.

we die for God sake.

Understand this

When that boy put his knee on that man’s neck

Jesus showed up and took the place of the man

And Jesus said to the boy

You don’t want to do this, find yourself, find your religion

And rise up!

And the boy refused to rise.

Jesus said, I have died for your sins and the sins of your brother at no charge and so there is no sin here

Not in the counter fit bill

Not in the 911 call

Not in the police training manual

Not in the city’s history

There is no sin here, YET.

You have been given the power

Your sin is forgiven

Let it go.

But the boy squeezed his sin and held on to it more tightly

And the boy didn’t listen to Jesus

Jesus begged, beseeched and begot, please, please, please, please

And the boy did not listen.

The boy would not turn away from his sin

The boy would not repent

The boy would not believe

He kept so busy showing off to show his people that he was a big man

Bragging, I can do whatever I want to do.

And Jesus asked him three times, do you love me

But the boy couldn’t answer because his momma didn’t put no religion in him

But he will answer to God.

And this is how we got here

Because of boys and girls who weren’t raised right

Who were taught to play church.

And pretend to be God

Trying to make all things all about me.

So Jesus, all day, every day, lifts his head to the heavens

Without moving his neck, that’s an amazing God

And he looks to his Father and he prays

Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

DRUMMING

And God showed up

And wiped away every tear

And took up every fragment of broken humanity

And every piece of lost community

And every drop of blood spilled

And every tear drop shed

And every ounce of fear prayed

And said

I got you

Hold my mule and

Hold my peace

You are going to need it in this world

Hold on

Keep your hand to the plow hold on

This is a hard row to hoe

So hold on

You may be tied, but don’t you get weary

I go to prepare a place for you

So that where I am,

You might be.

And that is why Black folks follow Jesus from the womb to the tomb,

Just to be in this world like God wants to be in this world.

Jesus made Pentecost happen for the church so that the good folks

Could live in peace

Pray in peace

And rest in peace.

While it is tempting to hold the mule of Jesus and get in and fight for

Community policing that is not about how many people can you lock up and when can you kill them.

Community policing should be, if someone would tell the truth, rooted in understanding that we need help being community because one of us wants to be superior.

One of us wants a gun for hunting human beings

And one of us wants a gun for protection from the hunters.

It is tempting to get into the fight where laws are being written, lines are being drawn and health care is being practiced so that the right people die.

And we can watch the murder and either be entertained or be terrorized.

This is the world that Jesus had to come to

This is the humanity he had to be born into

This is the death he had to suffer

This is the life he had to rise from,

From the life of the dead.

Jesus, knowing all things,

Gave this dying world of murderers a church

In order to give the people who are wrong

A chance to rise up and live the life of the living.

Let’s be clear on what God knew in the beginning

Whenever you see Black people aborted

Whenever you see Black people enslaved

Whenever you see Black people shot down

In the street, in corporate America, in the White House, the Congress,

In court or in church

You are seeing why God gave this dying world a church and set it on fire!

Pentecost is saying to the church

Quit saying

If you white you are alright

If you are brown stick around

And if you are black get back

Because that is not what Jesus said.

What Jesus said was

“Peace be with you.

As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,

“Receive the Holy Spirit.

Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,

and whose sins you retain are retained.”

And do this in remembrance of me.

Give up the fear in order to not give up that power.

Give up the fear, embrace the power.

That’s the message of Pentecost

50 days after Easter in the pandemic of 2020

Trust and believe

God is not dead

And God is not done.

And he is sending His fire to the earth, by ways and means of his church

To get people off the necks

Off the backs

Off the toes

And off the last good nerve of Black folks

He came as a little Jewish boy

But he rises from the dead like a Black man

That is the faith that gives hope to the world.

Keep remembering that the only reason Jesus came to earth was because innocent people were being killed.

Keep remember Church we have seen this before and we know how this ends.

Some of us in heaven and some of us in hell

We always have to thank God for the ones who made it

And pray for the ones whose suffering will never end

Because they choose to love hate instead of loving God.

They choose to cling to the ideal of self instead of clinging to the old rugged cross. Their suffering will never end.

Run this race on the straight and narrow and you will hear Jesus say

Good bye forever to those who insist on their right to sin

Well done to those who tried to love the other

And I tried to God the Father.

And once again, you will join your voice to the voice of those who can always say AMEN!

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