this is how we started worship this week:
Whoever you are and wherever you are on Life’s Journey you are welcome here. In this congregation we seek to Follow Jesus by seeing the Divine Spark in all, by Making Mission a Habit and by Being Human together. We gather today in the wake of yet another tragedy. A tragedy that we seem, as a country, as a people, as a society, unable to prevent. A tragedy that has become, almost, dare I say it? common.
Today’s scripture story includes a quote from the prophet Joel:
” this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” – Acts 2:16-17
Did you hear it? “Your sons and daughters shall prophesy”. Children and youth will be inspired – filled with the spirit – inspired to prophesy – to find their voice, to speak hard truths to those who have ears to listen, to witness to a better way to unyielding adults.
We need to listen for these young voices. Some of them – some of YOU – are here today. The children of this church. The prophet’s voices challenge the status quo, the way things are, and announces God’s new way, points to God’s path declaring “It doesn’t have to be like this!”
We heard some prophetic voices in March, sons and daughters prophesying – those survivors of the Parkland shooting who organized and marched, who spoke and told their story. “It doesn’t have to be like this!”
We need to listen to our sons and daughters, we need to hear their stories, their fears, their visions for a different future. We need ears to hears the prophetic voices calling to us, hearts to discern a better future for everyone. (based on Richard Floyd, StillSpeaking Daily Devotional)
“It doesn’t have to be like this!”
I fear that we, as a society, have lost our way.
‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
May it be so. Let us take a moment of silence.
God who holds us, and knows us, open us to your new way. We are lost. Lost in violence and fear, grief and despair. We are tempted to change the channel, to ignore the pain, to turn away. We lift to you the precious lives of those who have died, the families and friends who grieve, the community that is shaken and the first responders who put themselves in danger to save others.
We need you God, we need you to show us the way to a better future. We know it doesn’t have to be like this, but we don’t seem to know how to change.
Fill us with your love, make us willing and able to do what needs to be done, to prevent such violence, to care for the broken, to be healers in this hurting world, here, and everywhere. Amen.