“Commit to Speak Up: The Travelers” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

July 3rd,2019 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

I hope you all celebrated God’s expansive and encompassing love last week during our Pride service and march. Hold that love in your heart always, dear ones. God’s love at work within Pride month is not limited to June. The Park will continue to actively engage, lift up, name, support, love, and welcome people of all sexual identities and genders all year long, and forever. We are so thankful for the diversity that makes up our community. I am also grateful for our whole team that put together such a wonderful ritual and gathering. Working in an interfaith setting has been a great way to share the message of The Park. Speaking of messages, I hope you saw your monthly commit email. We have a new commitment for July, and it is “Commit to Speak Up.” I know the summer months are when so many of us take some time off from work, and rest is faithful and productive work. But even in rest, we have opportunities to meet and engage with new people and new ideas, so we hope you will remember to continue to speak up against injustice, no matter where you and God travel.

This week our scripture comes to us from the Gospel according to Luke and it really hits home for me. I am currently on a 3-week sabbatical. During this time away I will be traveling a bit with my family and friends. This scripture speaks of some of the travelers that Jesus met in his life and the way he encouraged them to continue forward in search of justice and community, just as when I am excused in my day to day life to step away.

 51 As the time approached when he was to be taken from
this world, Jesus firmly resolved to proceed toward
Jerusalem 52 and sent messengers on ahead. They
entered a Samaritan town to make preparations for him,
53 but the Samaritans wouldn’t welcome Jesus because his
destination was Jerusalem.

54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they said,
“Rabbi, do you want us to call down fire from heaven and
destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and reprimanded them.’
56 Then they set off for another town.
57 As they were making their way along, they met a fellow
traveler who said to Jesus, “I’ll follow you wherever
you go.”

58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have lairs, the birds of the sky have nests, but the Chosen One has nowhere to rest.”

59 To another traveler Jesus said, “Follow me.”
The traveler replied, “Let me bury my father first.”

60 Jesus said in return, “Let the dead bury their dead; you
go and proclaim the reign of God everywhere.”

61 Yet another traveler approached Jesus in this way: ”I’ll
be your follower, Rabbi, but first let me say goodbye to my
people at home.”

62 Jesus answered, “Whoever puts a hand to the plow but
keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God.” (Luke 9:51-62)

Friends, I don’t know about you, but when I take time off, I want to take it all the way off. But that is a space of privilege that I have that others do not. Jesus, Luke, nor I am advocating for not taking time to rest and reset, but that as you pray each night, ask for the wisdom and courage to affect change that moves the body of Christ toward a just, equitable, and loving kindom. The reign of God is only possible when we are all doing and being our best. Using our spaces of privilege and abundance to help others and the church. Being able to say, “yes Rabbi” without hesitation or worry, when Jesus says, ‘Follow me.”

Shalom Y’all,
Rev. Stephanie

A quick prayer for your week: Holy One I know we are traveling together.