SERMON PREVIEW: “The Great Comeback” by The Rev. Kaji Douša
I’ll admit that I almost idolize our First Lady. With few, but growing role models of Black women in major leadership positions, no matter our political affiliations, we seek examples of how to be, how to pull this off. She, the first Black woman in the White House, is, then, of course someone I would follow closely as the first Black woman in many roles, including Senior Minister of The Park. I admire her poise and elegance. But more than anything, I admire her brilliance. Her now infamous phrase “when they go low, we go high” has become a mantra for me each time I encounter microaggressions, disrespect, passive aggression, anything that might inspire me to, well, show something other than my better self. If someone “goes low”, I do what I can to “go high”. There is something of Christian virtue in this. It echoes Jesus’ “turn the other cheek” in not meeting aggression in kind. So, if you ever hear me muttering “go high, go high” you’ll know I am fighting my (deep!) instinct to go low. Because it can feel really good to get down there in the dirt and be scrappy.
I’m reminded of this phrase as I turn to our passage this week from the Prophet Joel, who has a message for the people of Jerusalem. They have been brought low. Times are rough for the people he aims to reach. But while they are low, God will go high, God will lift them up, God will give them…a comeback.
The comeback can be a dangerous concept because it reeks of nostalgia, a dangerous sedative that can leave us low with inaction and grief over what no longer is. Or, a comeback can be the thread of hope that draws a community together knowing that its best days have not even come.
How might a comeback look for you? For our church community? What does “going high” look like when it’s God who brings us?
We will explore this and more in our time of worship on Sunday. Invite a friend. Reach out to someone you know who has not come in a while. See if you and God might conspire to inspire them to “come back” this time.