Christians sometimes talk about the “already and the not yet.” Meaning we have already experienced the fullness of God’s love but we do not yet live fully in God’s holy presence. On Friday, Nov 11, I’ll offer the prayers at the base of the Liberty Memorial as we honor the veterans among us at the annual ceremony at the World War I Museum. I’ll think of Max, who nobly served in WWII and of several of our younger members who honorably served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They sacrificed that we might know peace and we already do, but peace does not yet fully exist here at home or around our globe.
Last summer I had lunch with Reverend Rodney Williams who will preach for us this Sunday at the joint service with Swope Parkway United Christian. We were discussing what it is like to preach to a congregation that is “purple,” that is made up of Democrats and Republicans. Rodney said, “I tell people I’m not a Democrat or a Republican, I am a human being”. That has lingered with me. We belong to one another, to the human race. This Sunday at 11 am our choir loft and pews and communion table will be filled with our neighbors who are both black and white and we will worship God with one voice and one heart and I know the energy will be palpable. And I will remember that in terms of race relations we are “already and not yet” where God desires us to be.
In a recent podcast, Krista Tippet, who spoke at our church last spring, reminded me of what we call ourselves, regardless of race or creed or age or party affiliation. Our name is homo sapiens. And that means we are “the wise creatures.” How do we live up to our name? We already are wise but we are not yet wise. We still feel the pressure bubbling in our culture and the fear in our souls about what we face next. We are anxious and broken and sometimes hurtful and foolish though we don’t intend to be that way. As people of faith, we gather in the shimmering light of stained glass each Sunday to lean into the fullness of God’s love and grace, to thank God for the bounty of goodness in our lives, and to seek to realign our lives with God’s peace. If we are wise, we remember God’s dream for the world. We are already there, but not yet. Together, we might get there.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
Grace and Peace,