Be Bold – A Sermon on Our Identity as the Church

Six months ago I moved from Kenya to the U.S. The move has been challenging on many levels, primarily because I’ve been exploring questions of identity: Who am I in this context? & How can I best serve God in this place? These questions that had such clear answers in Kenya.

I believe we as the Church are asking a similar question. How do we be the people of God here, in this place? It is clear that the Church’s role in society has changed – we no longer hold the moral authority we once had – in response to that change we must discern what it means to be God’s people now, what do we have to offer the world besides a stamp of good character? My sermon this week calls the Church to answer this question with boldness and confidence. So often we water ourselves down to being a group of “nice people” or another “social service” rather than offering one another a place of meaning and significance rooted in Christ’s love.

The sermon reflects on how in the texts for this past week – linked here – God’s people are asking this same question in Egypt, Corinth and Jerusalem. In Egypt Moses challenged the people to ask the question, “How do we live our lives as God’s people in the wilderness?” Again, Paul makes it clear in his letter to the Corinthians that we are called, as the people of God, to see life through the lens of Christ. Christ who, in John’s gospel, is infuriated by the loss of holy identity that happens when the temple becomes a place of business.

I loved being back with my family at St. Christopher’s. After the service the Rev. Gail Smith and I hosted a conversation on the Church’s role as a place of healing and reconciliation. It was wonderful to listen to the congregation discuss the relationship between these concepts and imagine how St. Christopher’s through being church has been a place of healing and reconciliation for many. I’m so grateful for these people who have nourished me along my way over the last few years and I’m excited about continuing to be part of what their community is doing in the future.

In the Blessing,

Natalie

 

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