On Sunday, February 25th, we handed out grants to seven of the ten groups our Endowment Team had chosen in an effort to “bless those who heal the world.” This year we heard from each of the grantees in what I can only describe as a crescendo of joy and hope. Each of these recipients represented their organization in splendid fashion. We were moved to tears by their testimony and their work. It occurred to me as I listened that we were seeing nothing less than an actualization of the Beloved Community in a middle school auditorium. With squeaky chairs, powerful songs and a modest room with two banners and a table with candles, we were transformed.
I couldn’t help but think as well that we were sitting inside a public school where children are sent every day of the week, Monday through Friday. They arrive to learn, not to shiver in fear for being shot. We who worship there pray fervently for these children at Jefferson Middle School and of course, in schools throughout our nation. As a nation, we can do far better than proposing mad “solutions” like arming teachers. This suggestion made by the President is especially grievous and utterly illogical. Let us as a church discover ways to bless the school in which we find ourselves. Of course, we can say that we provided both Jefferson and Amidon with $4,000 grants last year. And that is a way to bless them of course. But above all, let us advocate for their safety and let us vote people into Congress who will stand up to the bloody NRA. It is past time to get a grip on this and stop allowing one group to pervert the second amendment into a formula for carnage throughout the schools, venues and streets of our country.
Yesterday, we illustrated that people who are very different and do not see eye-to-eye on any number of theological or social matters can reach across that chasm and embrace one another. Jewish, Islamic, Christian and Agnostic people, working to heal the world, found each other yesterday and in the process of finding one another and embracing, we ourselves were healed and filled with hope. This is how it should be. Put down your guns. Put away your sword. Let us do better.