Dear members and friends of Kingswood Church,
Yesterday, from the first moments I heard of the events in Washington DC, a deep sadness came over me. This was not the first time I felt this way. I sensed this sadness as a boy when President Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated. These events were a sadness of grief and unbelief. I knew sadness when President Nixon was forced to resign in the summer of 1974. This was a sadness of disappointment and a massive failure. There is the event known by the date 9-11. This sadness was deep and wide with so many layers.
The sadness I felt on Wednesday was equal to all these events because it comes on the heels of all the events from this past summer. Wednesday felt like the foundations of the United States of America were crumbling. I am sad. I am disappointed. I am angry. These emotions led me to dig deep, to search myself, to critically consider my own self, my own beliefs, my own prejudices, and yes, my own sins.
The Sermon on the Mount begins with the Beatitudes, the first reading, “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom heaven.” Jesus is saying blessed are those who truly know they have no claim on or deserve to have a relationship with God. These persons understand they are spiritually bankrupt. Wednesday afternoon, I began to understand more fully our depravity and of what we are capable. We are all spiritually bankrupt. It can be seen in the way we deal with our differences. No one gets a pass on this; especially not me, not you, not the people we have collectively elected to represent us, or any other institution, including the church. Our tolerance of inappropriate actions and attitudes is appalling. We look the other way in dealing with people who we agree with and condemn to hell those who disagree.
Earlier this week, I was talking with a woman who lived in Dunwoody thirty years ago. I asked her where and she told me the name of the street, but I was not familiar with it. She said, it is off that street that runs east and west. I immediately knew she was talking about Mt. Vernon. In the morning, the sun has blinded me as I have driven east, and it has blinded me in the afternoon as I have driven west. In 2 Samuel 23:2-4, the Holy Spirit speaks through David near the end of his life, and David, “When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.”
If you have ever driven east on Mt. Vernon, as the sun comes up or west when the sun is going down, you know exactly what the Holy Spirit is saying. There is no way to miss this type of leadership or this way of living.
I believe when our leaders, our elected officials, and you and I live in righteousness and in the fear of the Lord, it will be impossible for people to miss us, and we will be able to positively impact not only others but the grass as well.
May we all search ourselves and strive to be a light which no one can miss, that positively influences everyone and all things that cross our paths.