Sunday’s Sermon “Comfort ALL People”

Love Thy Neighbor, I meant that

I have to confess that I am not a huge fan of choral music. That is my problem. My taste in music runs more to folk music, which is almost as nerdy as choral music. The piece we just listened to was the Opening of Handel’s Messiah. It’s the first song of the piece. We are much more familiar with The Halleluiah Chorus. I love this piece so much because it’s part of my history. It was a Christmas tradition.


I hope you have traditions. If you don’t, build them. Traditions are slipping away in our culture, and that is very sad indeed because traditions are ways we bind to one another. But we must also be ready to alter our traditions so that they don’t become the thing we worship. Traditions help us look towards the thing we want. They are not the thing themselves. When Handel wrote the Messiah, he didn’t think it would ever become a Christmas tradition, and when he wrote it, he never imagined that a chorus of African men and women would lift their voices to the glory of God.

We read today from Isaiah. This is a Christmas tradition. What does it point to? What do Handel and Isaiah have to say to us?

Comfort ye
Comfort ye my people
Comfort ye
Comfort ye my people
Saith your God
Saith your God

This is not a request

This is God speaking, and he is not asking. This is a command. Comfort my people. Who are God’s people? ALL people are God’s people. The thief on the cross is God’s people. The Roman Centurion who looked up at Jesus as He gave Himself up for us is God’s people. Saul, the great persecutor of Christians is God’s people. ALL people are God’s people.

Some are closer and some are further from the love of God. You do not know where they are in their journey, nor do I.

Brianna Taylor is God’s people, George Floyd is God’s people. Kyle Rittenhouse is God’s people. Donald Trump is God’s people. Joe Biden is God’s people.

I am by brother’s keeper. I am the comforter of my sister. My Black sister, my white sister, my brown sister, my gay sister, my straight sister, my questioning sister, my conservative sister, my progressive sister, my Christian sister, my Muslim sister, my Wiccan sister, My Hindu sister, my atheist sister, ALL sisters, everywhere, for ALL time. I am to comfort them.

It’s not easy, we need help

How easy it is to comfort those we agree with. That is no task. One doesn’t need a command to be comfort those who look, think and act like us. The command is for those we don’t want to comfort.

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem (the world)
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Offer a word of peace the next time someone offers you a word of anger. If you see someone whose cap you don’t like, buy them a coffee. Be kind when the hand of kindness is not offered.

And cry unto her
That her warfare
Her warfare is accomplished

We can choose a different path

Lately I think this nation has gone insane. (Can I get an amen?)

We do not have to live in this madness. We do not have to go insane. We can choose a different path, a different highway. But we must be the ones who build that highway. When I was about 12 my sister and I got into a fight. It got so loud that my mom came out, grabbed us both and asked us what happened. We both pointed the finger at the other. My mom said, “I don’t care who is right, but the one of you who is right should apologize first.” I am not going to tell you who said sorry first, but I have never forgotten this piece of sudden wisdom from my mad as a hornet mother. The one who is right needs to be the first to offer the hand of fellowship. Why?

That her iniquity is pardoned
That her iniquity is pardoned

You have been pardoned. Go and do likewise. We want justice and we want the righteousness to be uplifted and the wicked punished, but we want these things on our terms. Our justice is not God’s justice. As you forgive, so you will be forgiven. That is God’s justice. We have a chance to make a new start. Right here, right now, we can stop the madness, but we won’t until we forgive.

The voice of Him
That crieth in the wilderness
Prepare ye the way of the Lord
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God

You are the voice. It is you that must prepare the way You must make straight in this crazy American desert, a highway. A highway in this America so lacking in hope, peace, joy, and love. A highway for our God.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

This is not a request. This is the word of God. Amen

If you would like to watch the video of this service, please click on the link below.

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