In June, 2008, I had the distinct pleasure of hearing Representative John Lewis speak at a Sojourners conference in D.C. He is, it should go without saying, a real-life hero. A national treasure. An inspiration.
Except, I’m ashamed to admit, at the time I didn’t really know just how special he was, and thus I did not know just how special was the opportunity to hear him in person.
I was 36 years old at the time of that conference. I’ve lived my whole life in the United States. I was educated in good schools, both public and private, from elementary school through graduate school at seminary. I’ve been active in church my whole life. And yet, somehow, in the summer of 2008 I did not know who John Lewis was or why he is so important to the story of our country.
I have of course rectified that now. But, damn, it’s embarrassing it took me so long. Lewis recently published the story of his life in a three-part graphic novel called March. It is phenomenal. You should go read it now. Seriously. Right now. The sermon at the end of this post will still be right here waiting for you.
All of that John Lewis talk was set up for the next sermon in our ongoing series on Acts of the Apostles, the title for which I
stole was inspired by Lewis’ oft-used phrase, “get into good trouble.”
This time we’ve skipped ahead to Acts chapter 17 where we find those early followers of Jesus getting into good trouble. My thesis here is that we contemporary followers of Jesus need to get into some good trouble by speaking out about injustice — especially the horrifying injustice of the current president and his administration separating families seeking refuge in our country. I also spend some time refuting the “don’t be political” canard. Faith in the God of Moses, Esther, and Jesus (just to name a few) is inherently political.
Still, after the fact I was confronted with the reality that I wasn’t nearly as bold in this sermon as I intended to be. So I sought to correct that in the follow up sermon…check back here soon for that.
Here are the maps I used during this sermon:
Finally, here’s the sermon audio. What stands out for you?