St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Ridgefield, CT 203.438.3789

June 18, 2018

Planting Seeds that will bring about God’s Kingdom

In my sermon on June 17, I spoke of how little things can grow into world-changing things through God’s transforming love.  I’m indebted to Jack Jezreel, the founder of JustFaith Ministries, for succinctly articulating the “seeds” that we can plant to help bring about God’s Kingdom. [i]  To hear my use of his words, go to June 17 http://stephen.echolink.org/sermons/ 

Relationships with Those at Risk

“Regardless of what else we do, we must stay connected in some kind of face-to-face way with the persons and the places at risk. . . .”

Justice Education

“The single most repeated phrase in the Gospels is [what] Jesus uses to describe the vision and focus of his ministry: the Reign of God. . . . This is the reign of service, reconciliation, justice, generosity, compassion and peacemaking. Jesus calls disciples to this vision.”

Simpler Lifestyles

“The history of affluence is the history of exploitation is the history of war. . . . Authentic love will not allow us to continue to ask the rest of the world to put itself at the mercy of our conveniences.”

Take time to Pray

“. . . Prayer is a way of connecting with our source. It is about being centered, grounded, mindful of the holy, the presence of the sacred and the precious. . . . Prayer can help us to connect with the poor with open eyes and hearts. It is prayer that can allow us to educate with patience, love and understanding. It is prayer that can enable us to move to a simpler lifestyle. And it is prayer that will allow us to do this with conviction and joy.

And whether or not we pray is as obvious as whether or not we have put our clothes on. For example, the compulsive, frantic, angry, cynical, unintegrated rambling from project to project—even from peace project to peace project—may speak of good intentions, but also of an uneasy and untended inner life. It is possible . . . to do much harm because we have not taken the time to pray. . . .”

Commitment to Nonviolence

“. . . Violence is awful. Violence is ugly. Violence is the saddest of human acts. . . It is so very difficult to lead people into a willing critique of their politics, their country, their allegiances, without some awareness of how violence is so often the handmaid of greed and power. . . .We are nonviolent, not because we simply eschew violence; rather, we are nonviolent because we are people who love like Jesus.”

Community

“. . Community is the most neglected and probably the most difficult ingredient for us to hold to in the U.S. context. And for the most obvious of reasons—we have come to worship at the altar of independence, individualism and autonomy. As much as there is a deep hunger for connection, common purpose, and kindred hearts, there is a merciless, deep-rooted entrenchment in the forces of competition, personal freedom and self-rule.”

[i] These portions of Jezreel’s work are taken from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation post, Founder of the Center of Action and Contemplation, dated June 13 and 14, 2018.

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