Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rediscovering a Flattened Earth | Notes from Peter's Sermon

In Acts 1 there is a line of scripture that most of the time goes unnoticed. It reads: "The Apostles all joined together constantly in prayer along with the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers." Throughout Luke's writings there isn't often a time when something important happens without the author mentioning the presence and importance of women. However within a hundred and fifty years the patriachal culture of the Roman Empire would subsume the early Church and women would be relegated to objects instead of equals.

The Lord is unchanging, he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. However, the Church continues to evolve, grow, and blossom. The bible contains the core of Christian teachings, all things necessary to salvation. However, this does not mean that our understanding of the Bible is fixed. God leads the Church today as he has through all generations and speaks his will through the people. While many christian churches disagree, the Episcopal Church has heard that call and has ordained women since the 1970's.

Our mission as a church is to rediscover that the world is flat. Not geographically, but in the Lord's eyes we are all equal. Men, women, and children. Blacks, hispanics, and Whites. Priest, Deacons, and congregants. Gays, Lesbians, and Straights. In God's eyes we are all his children and the playing field is flat. In recent decades the church has begun to address these inequalities. We've blessed same-sex marriage, we've ordained women, and we've fought against the evils of racism and income inequality.

The Lord expects his body and church to stand for justice, to aid and care for those who can't protect themselves, and to speak out against inequality and unfairness. Perhaps not since the time of the fall of Rome has the middle class become so eroded, and the gap between the rich and the poor so wide. Those who don't read their history are doomed to repeat it. We believe in being responsible stewards of our land, nation, economy, and neighbor. We proclaim that the world, at least in the eyes of God, is flat; and all his children deserve an equal opportunity for success and happiness in this world.

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