Half our students are women who live at the prison, half women enrolled at the divinity school. It has been an amazing experience to see how God's call to preach is at work in each of our lives...but that is a story for another day.
|Photo by Gage Skidmore|
|Photo by Gage Skidmore|
Today, I’m going to name that I’m standing here before you in grief and in heartbreak. There was an election this week and many are grieving. I don’t think I’ve seen an election in my lifetime where so many people were openly weeping. I have heard friends speak of fear for their own safety and the safety of their families, particularly immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people. I have heard friends speak of feelings of exclusion.
I name all this not to divide but because it’s the place in which the Word of God is encountering me today; it's the place from which I bring a testimony of God’s grace today. I hope that this will be a word for all of us, regardless of what is on each of our hearts.
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from the world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him...
After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done for you? You call me Teacher and Lord--and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you...I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
I know that for all of us, no matter how we find ourselves today, there have been days and will be many days ahead where it will feel like an end, where we won’t know how to make sense of our world or step forward in faith. I hope that in these moments, we can learn from the example of Jesus who, at his own end, chose to show love and hospitality and grace to his friends.