“Finding Good Amongst the No Good” – Sunday Preview for Jan. 21 by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell
This has been a week filled with emotions. Last Sunday was a beautiful outpouring of love in a baptism and a raw, emotional sermon. It was followed by a week in which my voice hurt from screaming. My feet were sore from walking. And my heart ached and continues to do so, for our sisters and brother being unjustly detained and even deported. But my cup also runs over with love, new friendships, and hope because of all the ways we have shown up for each other and come together. I invite you to join us once again this Sunday to gather, see, listen, and love each other as we reflect and rejoice in a just and graceful God.
For as long as I can remember I have loved taboo expressive words. “Cuss” words have been an active part of my vocabulary for years. I also love to travel. I spent my Junior year of college in Salzburg, Austria and I have been fortunate enough to travel around the world throughout my life. So, a couple of years ago a friend of mine gave me a book by Emma Burgess called “The Little Book of Essential Foreign Swear Words.” Clearly this friend knows me well.
However, this last week (and let’s be honest…this last year) some of the words that I love as a form of verbal expression, have been perverted and spoiled as they have been used as an attempt to diminish those that are already marginalized in our society and world. Although the level of offensiveness changes with the times, we can see that all words have carried weight throughout history. Look at this week’s text from John 1:43-51 in which Nathanael used the name of the city of Nazareth as a “bad” word. A word of ill repute, if you will. However, ask those that follow Christ and even if you have never been there, Nazareth holds place in our spiritual lives as the home of Jesus and as a holy place filled with holy people.
Here is the text:
“Why are we having all these people from [Nazareth] countries come here?”
“We cannot take a chance that the people coming over here are going to be [Nazareth]-affiliated.”