April 18, 2017

God, prepare me to be a sanctuary.

Pure and holy, tried and true.

With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living

Sanctuary for you. – Randy Scruggs and John Thompson

For the next four weeks, this praise song sends us on a journey. We will investigate the concept of sanctuary. Traditionally, a person could rely on the church to be a container of the holy and the sacred, to be the place where refuge and safety were guaranteed. Those who felt at risk of death and capture, who could not find protection anywhere else, knew that if they could just make it beyond the doors of the church, they would find safe shelter. 

We are in a social environment where many cities, institutions and especially the church, must consider how to be literal sanctuary for those who may find no hospitality or welcome anywhere else. Muslims, the undocumented, Jews, people of color and other groups require our gracious space.

This is a call for Plymouth to determine how our voice enters the conversation, for many people of all socioeconomic realities; all ethnicities; those who are believed happy; and those who struggle with despair; those who have been members for decades and those who recently discovered Plymouth—many enter our doors crying, “Sanctuary!” We are called to respond in loving and healthy ways.  

Many come just to be reminded they are fully human, made in the image of God, and heard with caring ears of folk who long to make a difference. We all need a safe place, and to know that no matter what, God loves them and they have a community of acceptance and grace.

Using the lectionary Scripture and stories from the series Humans of New York, curated by photographer and writer Brandon Stanton, we will discover the many doors we must create to our sanctuary and to our hearts as the people of God. 

I pray this will be a training ground of discipleship for us all as we look to God for vision and spiritual direction. May God prepare us to be the living sanctuary for the benefit of the world. –Rev. Kelle Brown

Topics: Church Life, Easter, Events


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