Called to Forgive – A Sermon on a Christian Response to ISIS

Today I gave a sermon suggesting a faithful response to President Obama’s announcement of his strategy to protect Americans from the actions of ISIS. The sermon was inspired by two of the readings for today: the story in Exodus of the death of the Egyptian army and Jesus’s call to abundant forgiveness. As I prepared for the sermon I was struck by the seeming contradiction presented by the readings – in one account God smites an entire nation for their sin and in another Jesus calls us to forgive those who have wronged us. The sermon suggests attitudes and actions that can help walk the middle way, in which we acknowledge evil while choosing to love those who have harmed us. Note that this is not the only way faithful people can respond in love, if this response doesn’t work for you I invite you to discern your own way of following God in this situation.

You can watch the video from the blog or on St. Marks Burlington’s youtube site. Also, a quick “thumbs up” to the work of the Rev. John Debeer, rector at St. Marks and the leadership team at St. Marks who continue to build their church community – every time I am with St. Marks I see/meet new people!

Finally, a quick note, in the sermon I mention that my father’s unemployment lasted from when I was three-years-old to the present, this is not true and I apologize for misspeaking. My father held multiple jobs within that time frame but they were often short lived – please forgive me for stumbling through the story, it’s a difficult and sensitive topic for me.

In the Blessing,


One thought on “Called to Forgive – A Sermon on a Christian Response to ISIS

  1. Natalie, this is reminding me of the principle of transformation happening in duality. People change when we change. If we share love within uncertanities of possible war/conflict then one day our Love will be repaid with love. The world will heal of all this pain.
    Thank you Natalie. Every Blessing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s