2 Timothy 4:3 – “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
I don’t normally speak out about current events. But, in light of the tragedies of the recent past, and the events in our future. I feel compelled to share these words. Words, I believe, God has placed in my heart and on my mind for me to pass on to each of you.
The work of the ministry takes on various forms and requires those of us who feel truly “called” into this service, to try and look at our world as if through the eyes of God. Our calling is to guide, teach, nurture and direct the paths of all God’s Children, all human kind. Not with laws and restrictions that support judgements and inflict divisions. But, with unconditional love and unlimited compassion for every human and the very planet and universe that sustains us. All creation is sacred and precious to God and should be equally so to each of us. But yet we turn from those truths, we embrace those who cast visions of success, wealth, and promote power over others, usually the less fortunate. We replace “love” with “lust” and live accordingly.
We turn our backs on the examples our ancient scriptures set for us. And instead, rush blindly ahead, ever seeking to satisfy an insatiable lust for more and more and more. Those warnings of the ancient teachers, prophets, shaman, gurus, oracles, philosophers and all those who guided our ancestors. Have now been silenced and forgotten, or intentionally hidden and ignored. Even our religious leaders promote divisions and judgements and justify such with dogmatic theologies, rather than the love of God. And, still they wonder “why” when another tragedy cast itself across our land.
They ask “why” when they see their followers turning their back on their ministry, their church and even on God, as they walk away from their faith. They ask what can we do? And God answers with the same answers provided in days gone by.
Isaiah 6:8-10, 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
9 He said, “Go and tell this people:
“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
To “repent” means to turn and go another way, a better way. So, we as a people must repent and turn from the path of destruction we are now following. Reject the teachings of judgments, condemnations, bigotry, hatred, and most of all, divisions. The very purpose for having spiritual or religious beliefs has been, from its beginning, to bring human kind together and allow them to live in peace and compassion to all. It was never meant to divide us, but to unite us as one.
We ask ourselves why does God allow these things to happen? And, God has answered. God does not “allow” tragedy, but God will allow you to do so. This is a treacherous existence we live; our world, even our universe, is a very dangerous place, both from without and from within. It is only by living the love of God can we hope to continue to survive. It is only by coming together as one, that we will be able to overcome the adversities and challenges that we face now and await us in our future.
God will heal our land, bless us all, and allow us to be all we can be. But, it is up to us to embrace the reality of our problems, some say our “sins”. Sin means, we have missed the mark, we are not where we should be, we have gone astray. And truly we have. But, as in days of old, God will give us another chance, or allow us to destroy ourselves. God wants us to turn from our wicked ways and return to a time where God’s love was the witness of those who loved God. Not a time of church, but a time of a living faith, a faith that is our very existence.
When I look at the tragic events in our news today. I am not compelled to offer thoughts and prayers alone. I believe that it’s God’s way of saying “ask yourself what you can do”. God didn’t allow these things, and it isn’t God’s place to fix them. You allowed these things, so it is your place to fix them. God knows you have the ability, for that is how you are made. But the question is, will you do it?
This is my part in fixing our problems. It is my duty as a minister; called, ordained and anointed by the Spirit of God that is within me, to speak the truth as I believe God has revealed it to me. I do this out of the love I have for God, all human kind and all of creation. When we learn to love as a people, when we learn to live that love without conditions. Then, the tragedies will stop and we will replace those thoughts and prayers with a living faith that will heal our land, its people and the world we all live in.
The solution to the problems we face in our lives today, isn’t found in waiting for God, or someone else, to fix them. The solution lies with each of us. When we realize, we all need each other to come together as one. When we accept the fact that God has made each of us to be the individuals we are, and no two are meant to be alike. When we embrace the fact that we are to love the lord our God with every ounce of our being. And, the only way to prove that love is to love all others, and all creation, more than ourselves. When we accept these truths, and make them our way of life. Then we will be a living witness to the world, and a blessing to all. The tragedies can stop if we truly want them to, and are willing to have that effort start with each of us, personally.
It is the work of the ministry, even its inherent purpose for humanity, that I speak to you words of simple truths. I should not seek to say what your itching ears want to hear, but more so, what I believe God gives me to say to you. I must carefully and without bias or indoctrination speak to you, words to lead, guide and direct you to a path of a right relationship with God and all of God’s creations. This is the vocation I am called to, the ordination I have received, not of man or institution, but more so, of a living God who wishes to show His love to His children.
And, God desires nothing in return but to see them as living examples of that love manifest in all they say and do, especially toward each other. It is God’s desire and hope for all humankind that we learn to live and love as one, in peace and compassion to all, without exceptions or conditions. That’s the very foundation, structure and reality of the Kingdom of God.
May you be ever mindful of God’s love and presence in your life. May you allow that love and God’s presence to be reflected in all you say and do. As a witness to the world, and to God, of the love you have for all.
Amen, and may God bless.
Rev. Dr. Shannon Rogers, DDiv 2018 C.E.
Unitarian Christian Church of America