“Bring Them In” by The Rev. Kaji Douša
A family in Panama City, Florida, recently had an experience that taught me something about church. So, it was a normal, hot summer day, and the family decided to go, like many did, to the beach. Because they figured they would get the wonderful refreshment of the water. As the children played along the edge of the beach, the mother perhaps turned away for one second and then looked back, and it was any parent’s worst nightmare. Because as she looked, she did not see her children anymore, and she panicked. And she looks closer and looks all around and sees, wait a minute the children who were just right in front of me, now are way out to sea. So, of course, she did what anyone would, and ran in after her children. As she went closer and closer, she realized what had happened, a riptide had pulled them out into the water and as she went in, she too got caught by the riptide and was stuck. So then others saw what was happening and they heard the yelling, and they came to try to rescue them and they too got stuck by the riptide because each person tried to do it on their own. What they discovered was the only solution was to create a human chain from the shores of the beach. And each person linked arms with each other. And as they each came, and another person came, and another family saw what was happening, they realized that they had a role to play and they went all the way out into the depths of the water. And this woman at the end, then, who was an excellent swimmer, and almost died in the process, pulled in each person who had been stuck. She wouldn’t have been able to do it without that human chain. And this is the lesson we learned: we can’t, we can’t do it, we can’t do these things on our own, but when we connect to each other and we recognize the common humanity between each of us, between every human in the world, we recognize that they each are in the struggle together and then we pull the people in to safety. That’s the role of church. Amen.
Pastor Kaji’s full sermon is available here: https://youtu.be/t1LguDjcMgM