What has been your journey during these past eight weeks? Where have you found yourself in the texts we have studied from Walter Brueggemann's book Interrupting Silence: God's Command to Speak Out? To reflect on just one of them: Did you tremble with possibility, as Bartimeus did when he heard that the Son of David was within shouting distance? The reality of Jesus' nearness gave the blind man the courage to raise his voice, and keep raising it, until the Messiah heard. Empowered, Bartimeus cast aside his cloak, along with the limitations of the identity imposed on him by his culture. Or, did you aspire to be like Jesus, who heard Bartimeus, responded to his plea for restoration, and gave him the dignity to choose his own future, no strings attached?
Were you moved by the young women who honored us by sharing theirstories at the Fall Ethics Seminar? When staff chose the theme for the fall sermon series back in July, how could we have known that these "Dreamers" would talk about leading lives of self-imposed silence and invisibility, until they were liberated by the hope of obtaining legal status through DACA? Did it give you chills, too, when they told of finding their voices, and the courage they drew from the response of faithful allies who heard them, and stood alongside them?
Throughout this Fall, our call to discipleship has been re-framed: we are called to break the silence of oppressive systems, imposed by the powerful in the interest of maintaining the status quo. We are called to break our personal silence, giving voice to our stories and to the wounds and anxieties that distort our lives if we hold them alone. We are called to stand with those who will be silenced no more, as allies who respect their freedom to shape their own liberation. We are called to be faithful listeners, with open spirits, ready to be transformed by the stories we hear
I hope you will enjoy the photo of our new banner. On Sunday, at the close of worship, we processed outside of our sanctuary and planted it together. It is one response to Brueggemann's call to interrupt silence as followers of Jesus, here and now. What other ways will we live into this calling in our life together? As we turn towards Advent, we will hold all these things in our hearts, and look for the leading of the Spirit.