A Lutheran Says What?

Sermons and random thoughts on God, the world and the intersection of the two

On The Move Palm Sunday Sermon March 27, 2021

This sermon was proclaimed in the community of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Holladay, UT on March 28, 2021. It can be viewed on our YouTube channel: Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church SLC.

The texts were:

Isaiah 50: 4-9a
Philippians 2: 5-11
Mark 11: 1-11

The law of inertia, is one that most of us learned in middle school or high school. Even if you didn’t formally learn it by its scientific name, it’s a law of physics that one might call “common sense.” A body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. If you’ve ever laid down on the couch after yard work or house cleaning, thinking you’ll just take a 15-minute breather only to still be on the couch an hour later, you know what the law of inertia is about. I’ll be intimately familiar with inertia next Sunday afternoon after Holy Week. It can be hard to get ourselves moving, whether it’s physically up off the couch, or emotionally, psychologically, spiritually to move our feelings, thinking and hearts in a new direction. What causes us to be moved to change, to engage our lives and world differently, to overcome the law of inertia, is elusive. We’ve all had the frustration of trying to move ourselves or a friend or family member to quit smoking, drinking or change their language.

 George Barna did a study about 15 years ago now, that showed worldview was set by age 13 and values by age 9. Whatever your values and worldview might be entering high school, are pretty much concretized. Of course, we might have life experiences that move us to shift those values and worldviews but usually it’s nuance and not upheaval. When people are moved, typically it is due to a personal major traumatic event. It’s why right now in our national discourse we have so much tension. We are trying to move people to new worldviews and values with stories and facts that aren’t necessarily personal. It’s real experiences, personal and communal experiences, that move people. What moves us, compels us to either physically or spiritually, change our course, and do a new thing is that the heart of our text for this Palm Sunday, what is called “The Triumphal Entry.” As I wrote in my Faith + Talk this week, that title is a bit of a misnomer, but it’s what we have to work with. I’m struck by all of the ways that Jesus moves people. Jesus leads his disciples to the outskirts of Jerusalem, a city teeming with people celebrating Passover. He moves two disciples to go get a colt, a young donkey, for which he had obviously planned ahead. He then moves with the crowds who are also pilgrims, entering the holy city, and they are moved to call out “Hosanna” which interestingly means, “Save us now!” It’s not a movement of joy, a movement of celebration as we often project on this story, it’s a political movement, a movement of people who are recalling that they are not free. The pilgrims recognize that just as they are entering the city, so are a whole legion of Roman soldiers along with Pontius Pilate. Pilate didn’t live in Jerusalem but out on the coast, and he came in each Passover with troops as a show of force to the occupied Jews. Passover was a holy time that celebrated God’s movement and action of liberation for the Israelites and the Roman government didn’t want them to get any funny ideas about God moving for them again.
But Jesus knew that was EXACTLY what God was up to. Jesus’ physical movement from the rural and outlying towns in Galilee to the center of power of the Roman Empire and the Temple Institution in Jerusalem, revealed that God is indeed moving right to the heart of what needs to be confronted and changed. God had come in Jesus to move all people toward God’s unconditional love, mercy and grace and to move people to recognize one another as worthy of love and care. Jesus was on the move, not only into Jerusalem, but into people’s lives and hearts. Jesus moved toward the conflict, toward the pain, toward the divisions, toward the unrest. And Jesus moved his disciples to do the same.
Jesus modeled for the people what it means to be moved, to have your heart and soul moved not for your own well-being but for the well-being of all people and creation. Jesus was moved by the lepers outcast, Jesus was moved by the separation of the man unhoused living in the tombs, Jesus was moved by the woman who begged for crumbs, Jesus was moved by the death of his friend Lazarus, Jesus was moved by the crowds hungry and lost, Jesus was moved to offer his very life for the sake of ending the movement of evil, hate and death and affirming the movement of God’s kingdom of wholeness, peace and abundant life for the world. Jesus moved to move us.
Our baptism calls us to this movement. We move to see our lives together as God’s Church beyond our walls, we move and join the shouts of Hosanna, save us now for our black siblings, our refugee siblings, and our LBGTQIA+ siblings. We move and say no to economic disparity and poverty. We move to ensure healthcare is offered for all; we move to keep our society safe from senseless violence. We move to offer our neighbors tangible experiences of God’s mercy, wholeness and love to all people and creation, so that they too will join the movement of hope. We move even when the path leads through pain, suffering or even death. We move, knowing that we are part of a movement in which the horror of death on a cross, moves us to the mystery of the empty tomb, moves us to the promise of new life that stretches out to the end of the earth. Jesus calls us to follow and move but reminds us that we will not move alone. God moves with us, with pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night so that we move together as a beloved community. We are part of the movement of God’s kingdom that enters into the heart of what needs to move for hope, mercy, grace and love in and for the world. Thanks be to God.

 

A Multitude of Sins Sermon on Psalm 51 March 25, 2021

This sermon was proclaimed for the community at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Holladay, UT. It can be viewed on our YouTube Channel: Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church SLC.

The text was Psalm 51: 1-12

As humans, we can smell a cover up a 100 miles away, can’t we? We don’t like having truth hidden from us. We want to know the truth, what people might be hiding, what we don’t know. Unless, of course, it’s something that WE did that we don’t want anyone to know, then we try and distract, use smoke and mirrors like a master magician to get people around us to dismiss the faults or sins that we don’t want uncovered. The phrase “covers a multitude of sins” has been rattling around in my brain in connection with psalm 51. I know that I see my faults or sins as objects to be mitigated. If I do something that is less than attractive or isn’t the image I want to project, I try and cover it up through words, or actions that are designed to disguise or distract from what I did, to hide the truth. It could be as simple as make-up that covers a perceived facial flaw, to a mint to hide the garlic I had for lunch, to suddenly slowing down to the speed limit when I see a police officer. I know the truth, I know what’s under the make-up, behind the mint and the law I had just broken, but I don’t want anyone else to know. It seems harmless most of the time, doesn’t it? Until we take that train of thought all the way to its logical conclusion of hoping that we can cover up the bigger sins in our lives and hope no one, including God, will see them.

And there a multitude of sins that I have, individual ones and ones that we share communally that we do try and cover up: ignoring people we don’t like, or are different from us, the reality of our planet in crisis, people hungry, in poverty and unhoused. We try and cover up the sins of not truly loving creation and our neighbor, of covering up the truth of our own complacency, comfort and self-interest by recycling plastics, offering disingenuous pleasantries, or our left-over canned food to food banks, or money to other charities. I’m not suggesting that any of the above actions are wrong, but they allow us to cover up from ourselves the bigger truth that we refuse to address. What happens when we can no longer cover these sins up with charity and simplistic acts? What happens when we have climate crisis, whole groups of people hated and more and more families on the street? What happens when there are more tent cities than affordable housing? What happens when the truth is found out?

The psalm writer has come to this hard truth-that sins can’t be hidden or covered up forever, but they’re always found out. There will come a time when the make-up is removed, the garlic breath overpowers, the speed trap is up ahead, our healthcare, education, and social systems collapse under the weight of people neglected, undernourished, and unhoused. God already sees this truth and is waiting for us to come clean. The psalm offers us the path for coming clean that lays our hard truths at the merciful feet of God. We can’t come clean on our own, as when we try, the cover up will only continue. It is God who reveals the truth not only of who we are, but of who we can be. We can come clean, because God can’t cover up God’s unconditional and unrelenting love for us. God sees our sins, our faults, with God’s love transforms them and therefore transforms us. God who creates, creates the world, creates humanity, creates relationships, will create us new again and again. When we try and cover up, pull the sheets up over our heads to hide, God peaks underneath to coax us out, to call us to see ourselves in freedom, to see ourselves as worthy of restoration to wholeness, unity, and joy in the truth that we are loved and beloved.

God’s truth is new each day with love, newness and joy. May we never cover that up. Amen.

 

It’s Been a Year Sermon on Ephesians 2 March 12, 2021

This sermon was offered to the community of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Holladay, UT on March 14, 2021, one year after the COVID19 shutdown. It can be viewed on our YouTube channel: Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church SLC.

The texts were:
Numbers 21:4-9
Ephesians 2:1-10
John 3:14-21

Children’s message: Have a battery operated candle or flashlight. Have the batteries out or placed incorrectly so that it doesn’t work. Say, “It’s been a long year hasn’t it? It’s been a year of learning about stuff we never knew like social distancing, masks, vaccines and so much more! I’ve learned how much I miss all of you for one thing! I miss singing with you, dancing with you, playing games and praising Jesus with you! What have you learned this year? I’ve also learned that being alone is hard and that being alone isn’t what God wants for us and our lives. It made me think of this battery operated candle. When the batteries are out or not in correctly, it doesn’t work. It can’t work without the power from the batteries. But when the batteries are in place and correctly connected, it lights up! Then we can see clearly around us. In our Ephesians story today, Paul is writing to people about how we live together. How we have to act how God acts with love and grace. Kind like how the batteries and the candle all have to work together to give light.  If we’re not connected to each other and God, we can’t give off light for others to see God’s love and grace. That’s why we gather, even on Youtube or Zoom, to connect to God, to remember that God will love us forever no matter what and that is what grace is. AND God wants us to live together, our way of life, in this same forever love and grace. Think about how you can shine with God’s love this week! We’re going to keep talking about this….

It’s been a year. It’s been a year since our whole way of life was disrupted.  It’s been a year since we’ve worshiped in person in the sanctuary together. It’s been a year of hardship, loneliness, fear, uncertainty, turmoil, revelations, transformations and learning. It’s been a year for me of doing ministry in a way that I never imagined. It’s been a year of digital worship, or small groups outside. Many, many phone calls, texts and FaceBook messenger. It’s been a year of difficult conversations as we navigate differing perspectives and experiences. It’s been a year of clarifying what really matters, how we care for one another and our neighbors. It’s been a year that has revealed where our society is healthy, and where it most certainly is not. It’s been a year for me, of gratitude for you the beloved people of OSLC and all who have partnered with us. It’s been a year where I witnessed your compassion, generosity, graciousness, and love for one another and myself. (And as an aside, oh my how I love you all and I’m so grateful for God to have called me here!) It’s been a year, and now we embark on another year, another Lent, another Easter of navigating something new, a new way of life.

It’s not what we imagined, wanted or bargained for. We yearn to go back to the way life was just a little over a year ago, before we knew what was to be, before we knew the hardship, the sickness, the death, the fear. We yearn to go back to when we were comfortable, or at least thought we were. But the truth is that COVID19 wasn’t the true reason for our hardship, it was the catalyst, but we were all experiencing a sickness of one sort or another before March of 2020. We were and still are, soul sick. We were already afraid of the future, even when we thought that future didn’t entail a deadly pandemic. We were afraid of how the world was changing, how we were changing, how we weren’t in control. We were already suspicious of our neighbor and the decisions they made. We were already competing for resources, power and privilege.

The truth is that COVID19 revealed that our way of life, wasn’t working. COVID19 revealed a crisis, a need to re-evaluate how we live together and what it means to live in response to God’s grace. There were a few voices that tried to assert that COVID19 was God’s judgment against some group of people with whom the disagreed, that God was condemning non-Christians, or LBGTQIA+ folks, or people who wanted to allow immigrants across our borders, or some other made-up distinction and compartmentalizing of human beings. But as Jesus tells Nicodemus in their cover of darkness meeting, God doesn’t condemn the world or the people whom God lovingly created. God’s judgment, the crisis, is that God desperately loves us and creation and desires nothing more than for us to love God and each other. God sending Jesus into the world to live in our midst as one of us, is a sign of this love, for God’s desire for abiding connection with us. Jesus’s crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, Jesus’ raised on cross for the world to behold the power of sin, Jesus raised from the dead for the world to behold God’s “no” to death, and Jesus’ raised to God’s side, for the world to behold that heaven and earth are connected, are one in the life and Kin-dom of God and separation is no more.
And this is all a gift from God freely given, God’s grace is given despite our actions or inaction. Through the faith of Jesus, the trust in God’s will and desire, we are connected to this flow of love for the world. And God wants love to be our way of life, Paul writes to the Ephesians. Quit worrying about yourselves, your salvation, it’s already done. Your way of life in now one of response to God’s grace and love. Yes, this is a disruption of how we are living now. Yes, it will mean a hard look at the truth of the world around us. Yes, what will be revealed will be painful, and we will not be able to go back to our old way of life, and it wasn’t working anyway.

It’s been a year, a year where God has so loved the world and Jesus has been present. It’s been a year where God’s presence was not one of condemning us or offering God’s wrath, but of revealing where healing, wholeness, justice and mercy are desperately needed in our communities and in our world. It’s been a year that exposed that we were dead a year ago in status quo, in comfort, in security and now we’ve been made alive in truth. We now look at the truth head on, we see the snakes that are biting and killing and say no. We see the truth that worrying about ourselves, making decisions that are about our own wants and not for the health, well-being and safety of our neighbor brings harm to us all. We see the truth that much of our society, our way of life together, needs to be disrupted by God’s grace and love. We see the truth that this is our baptismal life, to be this graceful and loving disruption of sickness, separation and death.
It’s been a year, and I pray that it’s a year that we don’t try and sweep under the rug, simply forget, or try and ignore. I pray that it’s a year that we recognize that our way of life has been and will continue to be disrupted by God’s love, grace and mercy through Jesus. I pray that it’s a year that we hold on to as a witness that our way of life together is intertwined to God’s life and God’s desire for abundant life for all humanity and creation. It’s been a year, a year that has changed everything and exposed that our way of life is always held in God’s eternal presence and grace. Amen.

Prayers of the People:

Prayers of the People

Let us lift up our prayers today for ourselves, our neighbors, our community and our world.
A brief silence.

God of all, it has been a year. A year since we have worshiped in our usual spaces, a year since we have sung together praises of love, a year since we could freely have human contact, a year of change, a year of uncertainty. Hear our laments and our grief, God, as we now recall our experiences of this year.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Creative God, it has been a year. It has been a year of newness, change, creativity, and worshiping how we never thought possible, gathering how we never thought possible and doing ministry in ways that we never thought possible. But you saw the possibilities and called us into them with you. Thank you for the strength and courage in the past year to join you in bringing creation alive in our midst.
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Healing God, it has been a year. A year of bodies hurting, of minds suffering, of hearts breaking and death mounting. It’s been a year for the medical teams who have worked tirelessly and we pray for sabbath rest for them. It’s been a year for the essential workers and we pray for economic justice for them. It’s been a year for our educators and we pray for a society that supports them. It’s been a year for those who work for racial justice and we pray to be part of the transformation with them.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Listening God, it’s been a year. And we begin a new year with tender hope, hope that things may return to normal and a desire for a new normal. As we go forward from this year, remind us to bring with us all that we have learned and experienced. As we go forward from this year, may our hearts be more open, may our ears more attentive and our eyes clearer to the revelation of your kin-dom. As we go forward from this year, may we refuse the normal that was oppressing and harming people of color, immigrants, refugees and our LBGQTIA+ siblings. As we go forward from this year, may it be for justice and peace.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Loving God, It’s been a year and you have been always near. You hear our prayers, you give us strength, courage for the journey and hold us in love.

Amen.

 

Hidden Faults Psalm 19 March 11, 2021

This sermon was proclaimed in the community of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Holladay UT, on March 10 for Wednesday Lent Vespers Worship. It was Zoom and it can be viewed on the Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church SLC Youtube Channel.

The text was Psalm 19

The first house we bought in 1996 was a 1952 starter home in Lincoln, NE. Being an older home, we soon discovered some issues. We were having trouble with water in our finished basement, as every time we had a heavy rain, which in the spring and summer in NE, could be often. When the contractor came to regrade the dirt around the foundation, he saw something that concerned him. He started taking down the sheetrock in the basement and discovered the foundation was caving in. It couldn’t be seen hidden behind the walls. The water problem was really part of a bigger problem that only could be solved by removing all the walls in the basement so that the faulty foundation was exposed. Once it was exposed, the big heavy “I-beams” were brought in to reinforce the foundation. It was expensive for us as a young couple with two small children, and painful to lose the basement as living space. But it would have been more painful had the faulty foundation remained hidden. The possibility was the losing the whole house.

Like the psalmist in verse 12, I’m pondering what it means for God to clear me of my hidden faults. It seems innocuous enough, maybe God will just come in with a soft eraser and gently wipe the slate clean. But I think it’s more akin to the foundation work we had to do on our house in NE. When God clears our hidden faults, it means demolition of whatever wall is covering up the fault so that it can be rectified. Maybe it’s carrying a metaphor too far, but I know when I am faced with some hard truth of myself, there is a wall that has to come down so that I don’t continue to perpetuate what is faulty and crumbling.

The psalmist is also clear that all humans have faults, yes, even me, yes, even you. It is God’s presence and truth that pulls down the walls around our faults not for guilt or shame but for community, healing, justice, peace, and wholeness. With wall removed, we see God’s glory and grace in our lives and in the world. It beckons us to have our words and deeds reflect God’s will for God’s people. God’s presence in creation is sure, never ending, from heaven to earth, from day to night. God’s presence reinforces our true identity as beloved, so that we are courageous in doing what is life-giving for our neighbor. We are reinforced and girded with God’s law of love on our hearts. Thanks be to God.

 

Dr. Suess and Flipping Tables March 5, 2021

This sermon was offered for the community at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Holladay UT, on March 7, 2021. It can be viewed on our YouTube Channel Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church SLC.

The texts were:
Exodus 20: 1-17
1 Corinthians 1: 18-25
John 2: 13-22

Children’s message: I have this word here-what does it say? WOW! Yep-what a great word, it can mean wonder, fear, joy, all kinds of things. BUT what happens when I flip this upside down…it says MOM! It means something completely different! Sometimes our lives are like that-we might see something differently when we turn it around. And sometimes we NEED to do that! God sent Jesus to turn us around, to help us to flip over what we see around us. God wants us to see that we don’t have to act a certain way or look a certain way for God to love us. BUT God does want us to love as God loves everyone around us, and that might mean flipping over  what we think about other people and acting differently. In our bible story today, Jesus was indeed angry, anger isn’t bad. Anger when people are being lied to, hurt or stolen from is normal. Jesus was angry and flipped over tables to make the people see differently because he loved them and knew that they could do better. Like when adults in your life are upset with you when you don’t do your best. Jesus wanted people to see that money didn’t get you closer to God. That you didn’t need to do anything to be close to God because the promise is that God comes to us. And Jesus wanted the people to flip how they saw each other, not as people competing for God’s love and grace but working together to BE God’s love and grace in the world.

So when you think that there is someone you don’t like or think is too different from you, see if you can flip how you see them-see them as Jesus does!

This week I was invited to read to the Mrs. Walkers kindergarten class at Mill Creek Elementary for Read Across America Day on March 2, Dr. Suess’s birthday. Now, as an educator I have long celebrated Dr. Suess’s birthday and read many of his books to students. And I thought I would read one this year to the kindergarteners. And then, some information surfaced about two weeks ago that made me rethink. It had come to light that Theodore Giesel, AKA Dr. Suess, had a history of racist behavior and some of his book characters were based off his stereotypes of Black people. My first reaction was a deep sigh, now no Dr. Suess? IS this now cancel culture run amok? But I set aside my feelings, listened to my Black siblings who told me that this is indeed offensive, racist and I believed them. I did not read a Dr. Suess book but instead read a book by Ezra Jack Keats instead. I listened, learned and made a different choice even though I wasn’t immediately comfortable with it. But I realized it’s not about my comfort. It’s about my black siblings and their lives, their experiences and their justice in a nation that often negates or tries to cancel them as a human. For years, I had jsut accepted Dr. Suess, a white author, as the norm and didn’t question it. But when that was flipped over, turned upside down, I knew that it was true and not perpetuating the racism was the action that would bring human flourishing to all.
And if I’m honest, there are many areas of my life where I don’t question and just accept. And when my perspective is flipped over, it makes me uncomfortable and defensive. I don’t like to think I could be wrong. Right now, we are in a societal debate about many long-held ideas and concepts that need to be flipped, as it turns out they are harmful or derogatory, they always have been, but now we see it differently. Such as learning that Dr. Suess books have inherent racism in them, or a pancake syrup company changing their logo and name, or companies no longer using women as objects to sell products. Or, as I learned some years ago, that only referring to God as male perpetuates sexism and homophobia in our theological thinking and that leads women/femmes and young girls (including myself) to assume that they are NOT created in God’s image, if we always refer to God as male. Some people are calling this cancel culture. Cancel culture isn’t new, and no it’s not actually canceling anything. It’s reflecting on new information, like Dr. Suess and making better decisions. Maya Angelou famously once said, “when you know better, you do better.” It’s ok to say, oh I didn’t know that but now that I do, I’ll change my language, behavior, thoughts, etc. so that I don’t cause harm to anyone.
This is hard, and often we don’t change, do better, even when we know better, until it’s our only option. It’s easier to just ignore what needs to change, particularly if it doesn’t directly affect us, and just go along to get along. We forget that we’re interconnected and what harms one will eventually harm us all. We forget that it matters that we make better decisions with the information we learn for our neighbor to be secure, safe and loved.

The Israelite people had a rough history of knowing better and then doing better, like every other human group in history. God had freed them from slavery, gave them food and water in the desert, protected them, and still they squabbled amongst themselves and tried taking more than they needed. So, God offered them some boundaries, commandments, guidelines of how to live with God and each other. God wanted to instruct them on how to live in such a way that offered safety, dignity, honor and flourishing. God wanted them to know better so that they would do better. Well, even while Moses was being given the 10 commandments, the people had decided to build a golden calf to worship…seriously. It took about 2.2 seconds for the people to grow restless and decide that they could figure out life together without God.
Fast forward about 800 years and the same was still true. They had rebuilt the Temple after exile and decided on a Temple festival, ritual, purification system that they thought was wise and beneficial. Well, beneficial if you were the Temple authorities, or the money changers, or the sacrificial animal vendor…but if you were poor, from outside Jerusalem and simply trying to be an observant Jew? Not so much. This system was not set up to benefit you. It was set up to take advantage of your love of God, of your desire to do the right thing. It was set up to put a barrier between you and God and to remind you that you have to be in the right place at the right time to experience God’s presence.
They should have known better, but they didn’t. They had bought (literally) into their own ideas about how God and religion worked. They needed to be shaken up, to see the system for what it really was so that they could see who God really is. Jesus sees what is happening and how it’s cancelling what God truly wants, and yes, it made Jesus angry. Jesus’ anger is not out of hate or exclusion but exasperation and love that they should know better. It must have been frightening for some to see Jesus enter with a whip (to be clear for the animals not for the people), to see his anger, kick over tables, pour the money out all over the floor, release the animals for sacrifice and declare that this is not how you build a relationship to God. God isn’t in the Temple; God is with them wherever they are. The money changing is canceled, buying animals for sacrifice is canceled, worrying if you’re pure enough for the Temple is canceled, the idea of God only in the Temple is canceled. What isn’t canceled is God’s promise of renewing the people’s hearts, minds and souls so that as God’s beloved community the world will also know better than to harm, oppress or marginalize other people. What isn’t canceled is God’s desire to be with God’s people wherever they are without barriers. What wasn’t canceled was God’s inclusion of all people into God’s grace.

This challenge to the Temple system, the religious system the way it had been, the way it had been set up by the people, would mean many changes for those in power and privilege. They wouldn’t have liked it and pushed back complaining that their livelihood, their beliefs, were being negated, oppressed or canceled. But Jesus wouldn’t have any of that. No, your oppression and power over other people isn’t your right, or your entitlement. God is creating something new, a new way to be in the world and it might mean that what we have created as humans will need to be turned over.

There are so many tables in our world that do need turned over. We need to turn over the tables of our capitalistic culture that lie to us that more stuff is security and money is power. We need to turn over the tables of homophobia and transphobia that keep our siblings from human and civil rights, we need to turn over the tables of sexism and misogyny that  objectifies women and disallows women agency and autonomy over their own bodies. We need to turn over the tables of using religion and the bible as a weapon to keep certain populations in a marginalized place or to perpetuate hierarchy and hegemony. Jesus didn’t come to keep us comfortable, but to reveal that when God is with us, our tables are turned over so that we can see underneath the surface. And once we see it, once we know it, we will do better.

Our baptismal journey is to keep turning over the tables of status quo, comfort and security in our lives to see differently from God’s perspective, to see the new thing that God is creating. We are called to keep learning, to keep digging deeper, to keep questioning, to keep doing better. We will be different from other in the world who will call us foolish or weak. But we trust in the wisdom and strength of God flipping over what doesn’t bring flourishing and life to all people and all creation. We cling to the promise that God’s love, grace, mercy and hope are never canceled and our lives are turned over to see the world differently. Amen.