Catch videos, homilies, readings and other words of wisdom as Pastor Sarah Pierce posts her blog here.
January 7, 2020
Dear All Saints Family,
Like you, I watched in shock and horror yesterday as insurgents attacked our nation’s capitol, threatening the lives and welfare of our elected representatives, members of their staff, members of the media, and others who stood against them. Like you, I have spent much of the last 24 hours trying to process what this means for us as a nation, and for me.
“[W]e believe that, having died with Christ, we will also live with Christ—knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again: death is now powerless over our Savior. When Christ died, Christ died to sin, once for all, so that the life Christ lives is now life in God. In this way, you too must consider yourselves to be dead to sin—but alive to God in Christ Jesus….don’t offer the members of your body to sin as weapons of injustice any more. Rather, offer yourselves to God as people alive from the dead, and your bodies to God as weapons for justice.” (Romans 6:8-11, 13)
Siblings in Christ, I don’t have any answers to the insurrection that occurred in Washington, D.C. yesterday. I don’t have any answers to the fear and uncertainty that plagues our nation in the wake of yesterday’s violence. I don’t have answers - particularly to the questions of what repercussions will shake and shape our nation in the days and weeks to come.
I don’t have any answers for our Black and Brown siblings who look at the reactions of the Metropolitan Police Department yesterday and wonder why they have historically been treated so differently when protesting injustice. I don’t have any answers for our Black and Brown siblings who rightly say that this is yet one more glaring example of the systemic racism that has poisoned our country since before its birth.
But what I do know is this: this is not a question of politics. This is not a question of left vs. right. This is not a question of party affiliation or voting record. This is a question of right and wrong. A question of good and evil. A question of who we choose to follow, how we choose to live.
As Christians, we understand freedom in a different way from the way it is commonly understood in 2020-2021 America. We understand freedom not as a guarantee of rights that many mistakenly believe they can claim without responsibilities. We understand freedom not as something that allows people to trample on their neighbors, with no concern to their needs or wishes.
We understand freedom as a gift from Christ, and a sacred responsibility. We have been freed from sin through baptism in Christ; and in that freedom, we are called to the sacred responsibility of caring for our neighbor, offering ourselves to God. Our freedom is the freedom from sin and death - the freedom to live into God’s promises, to help to bring about the peace that passes understanding, with justice and mercy for all - even for those who disagree with us. Especially for those who are oppressed.
As we move through the next days and weeks in our country, I encourage all of us to prayerfully consider who God is calling us to be in these days. I encourage all of us to think deeply and prayerfully about what our response will be. We will almost certainly face an increase in divisiveness and an increase in hateful rhetoric. As Christians, how are we called to act? What actions that each of us take will feed into the sin of brokenness that plagues our country, and what actions that each of us take will move us toward the promise of God’s kingdom on earth?
As you consider your own reactions and responses to the events in Washington this week, I encourage you to consider the words of Martin Niemoller, written in the wake of World War II:
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
How is God calling us to speak out?
Pastor Pierce's Sermon from January 3, 2021
Pastor Pierce's Sermon from December 27, 2020
Pastor Pierce's Sermon from December 20, 2020
Pastor Pierce's Sermon from December 13, 2020
Pastor Pierce's Sermon from December 6, 2020
Pastor Pierce's Sermon from November 29, 2020