For most weeks this fall, we’re following the Narrative Lectionary. Because the best narratives — the best stories — are powerful, moving, inspiring, and endlessly fascinating. (More on that in upcoming, non-sermon posts.)
I usually chaff when the assigned readings skip over the difficult parts, so instead we read almost all of Exodus chapter 14. (We do have some time constraints, as much as I might wish it were not so.)
This sermon is a bit shorter than recent ones. You’re welcome. 😉
My intended thesis: God is still working to save people from oppression. God calls us to be agents of that liberation. But, as always, I would very much like to know what you hear as the main point.
Here’s the story from Heidi Stevens that I reference.
If you really want to go deep in the reeds, here’s the full Academy of Pediatricians report.
Money quote from Stevens/AAP report:
Studies indicate roughly 50% of teens who identify as transgender have attempted suicide. BUT… Research shows that if a transgender teen has even just one supportive person in their life they can go to, it greatly reduces their risk of suicide.
Too often the church has not only not been a place of support for LGBTQ youth, but instead it has — tragically and much to its everlasting shame — led the charge to make all places unsafe for LGBTQ youth…and adults. We must repent of that and change immediately.
Money quote from me (if I may say so):
Imagine that. In an era where belligerence and bellicosity are rewarded with…the presidency or a seat on the Supreme Court, the Academy of Pediatricians breaks through with a simple truth and we too often seem to forget: to those whom society excludes and oppresses, we need to offer understanding, respect, and unconditional love.
As I always say, sermons are not just academic papers to be submitted. Inflection, tone, audience reaction, etc. all matter. Sermons are meant to be heard. (Heard and seen would be even better, but audio is what I’m able to share.)