Tag Archives: Truth

Love is the only Torch We carry

Love is the only Torch we carry

By Nathan Decker

O, Virginia… watching the events of this weekend in Charlottesville brought me pain.   To see torches again used as beacons of hatred in my lifetime, Lord, have mercy on us.  When a group of white nationalists with anti-immigrant beliefs rapes the torch of Lady Liberty, the irony should not be lost.  “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” has once again been trampled on by members of the Know-Nothing party of the 1800’s.  We shouldn’t be afraid of the light.  The flame of torches usually represents people coming together.  In the past, I have proudly watched the torch represent efforts for peace at the Olympics, hope for new discovery in Education, and the eternal flame of Wisdom guiding us.  Shame on us for making it symbol of division and fear!

Much of what transpired this weekend was based in fear and grief.  The city of Chartlottesville’s decision to take down a statue ripped off the band-aid on the surgical wound our nation has been dealing with ever since the Constitution told African-Americans they were 3/5 human.  Our nation’s history is complex and up for interpretation and retelling.  Each generation takes up the momentous task of looking back with guilt and pride in an effort to plow a new path into the future.  There are always attempts at shouting the loudest to diminish the voices of others.

As we stand up against the evil of white supremacy, we have to acknowledge the grief that is being expressed.  The way history is told in this nation has mostly been from a white perspective as if whites were the only leaders and contributors.  In recent years this wrong is being righted.  Those who were silenced and oppressed have had the opportunity to add their story to the history of our nation.  White nationalists and supremacists see this as diminishing white history.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Adding missing slices to the pie only makes the pie more full and does not require us to make other slices smaller.  Yet, this is the fear I see in the eyes of those carrying torches of darkness and yelling hate.  They believe they are losing their part of the story.

We can bravely shine brighter than the faces of fear.  We can learn to build relationships with those carrying torches of hate so that we might show them light, love, and the Christ who welcomes all tribes and nations together.  We can, as friends of mine did in Charlottesville, have peaceful conversations with those with whom we disagree.  We can listen to their concerns as well as make our concerns heard.  Through the conversations that lead to relationships, we can admit that all lives matter to Christ, we are one nation made up of many, and love shines brighter.  Love is the only torch we are called to carry into the dark night of hatred and apathy.  We shall overcome by letting peace on earth begin with each of us lifting up love.  After all, it’s what Jesus would do.

 

Goodness is stronger than evil;

                Love is stronger than hate;

                Light is stronger than darkness;

                Life is stronger than death;

                Victory is ours through Him who loves us.”

                                -Bp. Desmond Tutu

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Confession from Jeremiah 5:1-8

We run from You, great forgiver and lover.

We run through the streets terrified because we know

You seek truth, You seek justice, You seek humble hearts

so that You can forgive them.

but We have refused to live forgiven lives.

We have made our faces harder than rock

and We have no excuse. 

We are not the poor.

and yet, We are not truly rich.

We have all broken the yoke that was easy.

We have all torn the bonds that gave us freedom.

 

forgive us, we pray.

You can protect us from the Lion in the roaming in our forest,

those dark voices roaring in our minds.

You can lift us from the Leopard seeking to rip us to pieces,

those evils of self-indulgence and self-gratification.

You alone can feed our hungry spirits and heal our hurting souls.

 

Sisters and Brothers, the Great Forgiver calls us.

Because of God’s Love, the Living Bread descended to us in the desert.

Our cry of “Lord, help my unbelief” has been heard!

Here is the only proof we ever need.  God’s Love!

 

In the name of Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven!

In the name of Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven!

Hallelujah!  Amen!

Call to Worship with Superheroes (From Ephesians 6:10-20)

Lord, we need a Savior.

Where are the superheroes? 

Where can we find Superman or Batman?

Where are the Avengers or the X-men?

Listen to the screams, Lord, creation is broken!

Not just floods and earthquakes, but hunger and neglect.

The arch-nemesis of all things good wages war and pain.

Lord, have mercy!  Where are the superheroes?

 

Friends, find strength in the Lord, he shares his power with you!

Put on the Armor.

Make a stand against the enemy – apathy, hate, war, greed.

Put on the Armor.  Put on the Armor of God.

You are armed with truth, justice, the good news of peace.

Put on the Armor.  Put on the Armor.  Put on the Armor of God.

Carry the Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit.

Wear your Salvation for everyone to see.

Put on the Armor.  Put on the Armor.  Put on the Armor of God.

We are Heroes in God’s Kingdom.  Our Super Power is God’s Love.

Lord, have mercy!  We are the superheroes with Christ!

Where is God? (Call to Worship 2013)

Where do we meet God?

In the song?  In the familiar Sunday morning handshake?

   Where is the Divine at work?

In the pastor’s sermon?  In the committee meeting? 

On a mission trip?  At a Church Day Care Center?

   Where are you God?  We seem to have trouble finding you!

Oh!  There you are!  We should have known!  God is:

   With the child crying in hunger

   With the drunk trapped in the bottle

   With the immigrant taken advantage of at a checkout line

   With the judged who receive no mercy.

   “As you go through this life, make disciples

And I will be with you, always.”

There is where God is!

                                                                                                    – Nathan Decker, 2013