The below was adapted from a statement made by our co-pastor, John Gaddis, at our service on January 10th, 2020 speaking on behalf of Left Hand Church in response to the events of last week.
At our Christmas Eve service, I talked a bit about the reign of King Herod. I spoke of how he ruled ruthlessly, by fear and by intimidation. Herod sowed seeds of discord among the people and committed atrocity after atrocity, all in the name of keeping himself in power. Sound familiar?
This past week we saw the work of a Herod. We saw people baselessly storm our nation’s capitol, the heart of democracy in our country. They came because of lies and conspiracies. They came because a man wants to preserve his own power and elevate white supremacy, over democracy.
The thing that can be so defeating in all of this is that many of the people who stormed the capitol call themselves Christians.
As a united church, we wanted to reaffirm our opposition to this gross abuse of power. And, to note how dangerous nationalism – and particularly religious nationalism – is.
This church will continue to fight against the supremacy and power of the Herods of this world.
Because we know that Herods of the world – and the systems that they perpetuate — are temporary.
This church will continue to work against injustice towards our black and brown siblings, who would have experienced an entirely different outcome to this past week’s event.
Because we know the story of Jesus is about inclusion. It is about turning power on its head. It’s where the last are first and the first are last. It’s about love and equity. It’s about empathy and justice and lack of hierarchy and non-violence.
This church will continue to fight against those who claim power over humility.
Because we know there is a power at work in the universe that is greater than the power of all the Herods of this world combined.
This church will stand, as Jesus did, for love, equity, and justice for those who are most vulnerable.
Because that is the work of loving God, neighbor and self.
In these dark days, amidst the many voices of chaos, may they know us as Christians by our love.