September 28, 2020
Like many of you, I woke up this morning, shaking my head in sadness and confusion. I thought as my eyes opened, How did we get here? How did we get to a moment in our nation where things are falling apart so decisively, as Chinua Achebe might say?
Tears fell as I awoke to what is at stake for us all, especially as the words “…Stand back. Stand by,” were uttered on a public and national platform. But God is faithful, and I remember that I know people who have been through multiple wars, heartache, illness, and loss. And they are here—different, impacted—but here!
Though things are certainly retched up in significant ways, we as people of faith have to shake all that is false, even that which feels urgent, to choose holy audacity.
We have been here before. Many of us have seen atrocities, done the discernment in the context of the church to be impactful, and moved together to right the wrongs. We’ve seen fear pervade the land, color-coded and ever present, and anxiety manipulated like the knob on the radio. Though the noise is mind-bendingly loud, God is calling us to holy audacity to stand with conviction to be moral, ethical people whose faith and movement will get us through.
Audacity is not matching energy, for it isn’t faithful to react to foolishness or threats in like manner. Being audacious isn’t the if/then paradigm where we wait to see what others do before we decide what we must do. Holy Audacity in these times is more rightly determining our posture, and that no matter the circumstances, we will stand with God on the side of righteousness. We will build home even while things fall apart. Friends, we must be bold, to remember that even a good map fails in new, uncharted territory. Together, our boldness will allow mourning without languishing the point of permanent despair and inaction, for we have work to do.
Plymouth, let us vow to be church, to be a container for experiencing what it means to be together in a place where it isn’t about getting things “right” as much as it means to be faithful and glorify God. To remember our landmark of Jesus Christ, and allow the plumb line of compassion, remembrance, and being the hands and feet of Jesus to lead us forward. Let us remember that church is meant to console, but not to the point of indifference and disconnection; meant to send us in joy, but not without counting the cost of how joy burst through, despite our difficulties. Our connection and covenant are meant to move us forward in faith, without setting a metronome to mark time in a daily rehearsal of death.
We may be in trouble, but we can be good trouble together. Let us, hand in hand, choose holy audacity, to be moved in our moral calling. And vote…
as if your life depends on it.
as if your vote will tip the scales.
as if your ballot is speaking for the trees,
the sky, the animals, the disappearing ice cap.
Vote with the urgency of finding the last restroom for 100 miles,
as if you are a fish out of water, and your candidate is offering Lake Washington.
As if our house is on fire, and your ballot is a hose on full blast.
For all that is good and right, vote!
Stand up in holy audacity with the assurance that right action always makes a difference, with God as our helper.
-Rev. Dr. Kelle Brown
Plymouth Church UCC Worship is experienced on a Zoom Webinar platform, on our Plymouth YouTube Channel and Facebook pages each Sunday. Please join us for Worship, then for Coffee Hour ONLINE following on the separate Zoom meeting link.
We look to God for the breaking of oppression and healing in the land. Let us stand together with one voice as we watch, fight, and pray with life prioritized.
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