For reasons of space and simplicity this section usually contains one theme, thought, and message. This week, in honor of Halloween, I offer two messages modeled on the day’s mantra: trick or treat.
Part I: The Trick
We’ve got a problem in our nation that is of Biblical proportion, and threatens to trick us into self destruction. From Moses to Jeremiah to Jesus, spokespersons for God railed against the injustice of inequality. In no uncertain terms they prophesied the downfall of societies in which the majority of the God’s gifts are owned and consumed by a small minority of God’s people. They forcefully proclaimed God’s intention: that creation is to be shared equitably by all of God’s children.
This week I received from several different directions a short video piece that speaks profoundly and prophetically about income inequality. Its revelation is not so much about the reality of this problem, but the difference between that reality and what we think the reality is, and even more what we believe the reality should be.
Part II: The Treat
Yes, every society, culture, and belief system has tricks that threaten their existence. The God of our ancestors knows this and offers us special people who treat us to a vision of what creation is supposed to look like. We call them Saints: those with prophetic voices and lives who call us back to our relationship with God, one another, and all of creation.
This Sunday in worship we will gather for our annual remembrance and celebration of the Hanover Saints who have gone on before us in the last year. Each year this is a powerful moment in our life together, for it invites us to name those who continue to inspire our thoughts and actions. It also allows us the chance to be with and support one another, thereby building community. Most important, however, is we are reminded that we are all called and capable of being saints: even as there is a candle for each of us, we are at the same time each a candle.