It was a real gift to preach in Redding, CA in July. What a great community, with a history of LGBTQ+ inclusion. After preaching this sermon, I was told by a couple in the church that they were ready for my sermon because they had watched the Netflix stand up special Nanette by Hannah Gadsby the night before. “She talked about the same thing as you: self-effacing comedy when done by oppressed people is not humility; it’s humiliation.” What a cool connection to have made. Go watch Nanette. Seriously.
I gave listeners an assignment at the beginning of this sermon so they could do their own biblical interpretation, even if it wasn’t the same as mine. That’s some Disciples of Christ moves right there. 😉
I love the fact that everyone I bumped into in Kansas City had stories to share, since I believe deeply in the power of our stories. Also, Olathe was an intense place for me as a South Asian to go, since it was the sight of a tragic and violent hate crime against a South Asian man not too long before my visit. What a beautiful congregation, what a wonderful welcome.
I remember studying this passage with evangelical friends in college who said how much they loved it; it sounds like communism BUT NOT COMMUNISM BECAUSE IT IS ABOUT JESUS. They worshipped a profoundly capitalist Jesus and this passage was a real struggle for them. It was a gift to share some reflections on what this passage means in a time of growing economic disparity today.
Every year this church hosts a Seven Last Words service with seven female preachers. This year I was assigned the seventh word: Father, into they hands I commend my spirit.
This sermon was also fun because my parents were both able to be there! Plus this was the church that ordained me.
Monte Vista Christian Church in Albuquerque were so welcoming and very patient with a hard word about immigration justice these days.