April 17, 2018
Between 3 and 4 pm, last Sunday afternoon, someone exited a vehicle and ran to the glass doors they perceived as Plymouth’s front entrance. In broad daylight, the person lobbed a large rock through our glass door and ran away to speed off in the van…except, it is hard to speed away with the possibility of a red light at the end of the block. The vandals were stopped just long enough for someone who heard the crash to rush out with their phone and snap a picture—a good picture—of the license plate.
Just prior, in worship, we explored the concept of bearing witness. I suggested that based on the Scripture of Luke 24:36b-48, people of faith are called to be the chalice into which the story of Jesus, of new life, of resurrection is poured. Within hours, it was as if the universe was testing Plymouth to see how serious we are in our commitment.
Plymouth’s history is full of events that show our leaning into God. Our banners speak for us. One says black lives matter. Others say that we as the church stand with our Muslim and LGBTQ Neighbors. A rainbow flag proudly waves in dynamic contrast to the white facade of our building. All these messages stand as symbols of our witness and commitment to be open and affirming, inclusive and justice-producing. Perhaps God is waking us to the awareness that discipleship is costly, and that siding with the oppressed, with those most vulnerable, will not be without a price. Thrown rocks and vandalism may be the sign of resurrection! These things are more like scars of a recent crucifixion than the glistening sheen of a status quo church. New life is here, and we are an Easter people.
Let us prepare. Let us take necessary measures to ensure safety as best we can. And let us hold to God’s unchanging hand for strength as we step forward together in love.—Rev. Kelle Brown