Friends, our nation needs a course correction, so we can fully and finally realize our dream of liberty and justice for all. So we can live and flourish in God’s Dream. There are lots of ways to talk about this, but the earliest followers of Jesus called it Love.
Though faith, hope, and love were all incredible gifts, they declared that love was the greatest. They said it was impossible to love an unseen God and hate a neighbor right in front of them. They asserted that God is love and those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them. And that there is no fear in love; perfect love casts out fear.
America has a fear problem. We fear that those whom we do not understand are fundamentally different than we are, and, therefore, threaten our way of life. We fear that well-being is a zero-sum game in which the sharing of power puts our survival at risk. These fears must be dismantled with light. This hatred must be driven out with love. These lies must be dispelled with the truth.
The truth is our vulnerability, is our strength. Our yearning for connection is what makes us uniquely human. There are more than enough resources for each of us to not only survive but to thrive. We are inextricably connected one to the other, and connection is the power we have to heal ourselves and our world.
We know this truth as well: We stand on the shoulders of people who have struggled, failed, and forged new wisdom; people who have been tested by disappointment and disaster; and what they have left us is confidence. We know how to help our neighbors in need, to save each other in times of trial. We know how to stand up for those who are left behind, to protest and march and lobby until laws and structures are changed.
And so as we turn our faces toward February, toward African American History Month and the celebration of the Lunar New Year; as we turn our hearts toward a day set aside to celebrate love, let us love like revolutionaries.
Revolutionary love sees each human being as a beautiful creation, capable of amazing acts of kindness and justice, designed to partner with God to complete God’s dream. Revolutionary love understands political upheaval as birthing pains, as the universe pushes the creation toward Shalom. Revolutionary love is empathic; it binds us together. It means when a child is hungry in Haiti or Hell’s Kitchen, my stomach growls.
Our staff and Consistory have been listening to you, trying to see what you see for our future. And this is the vision statement we created to guide us in these next years:
Middle Collegiate Church Vision Statement
Middle Collegiate Church is a multicultural, multiethnic, intergenerational movement of Spirit and justice, powered by Revolutionary Love, with room for all. Following in the Way of Jesus’ radical love, and inspired by the prophets, Middle Church is called by God to do a bold new thing on the earth. We aim to heal the soul and the world by dismantling racist, classist, sexist, and homophobic systems of oppression.
Because our God is still speaking in many languages, we work in interreligious partnerships to uproot injustice, eradicate poverty, care for the brokenhearted, and build the Reign of God on earth. This activism is fueled by our faith; our faith is expressed in art; our art is an active prayer connecting us with the Holy Spirit. Founded prior to this nation, Middle Church affirms the transformative power of moral imagination, reclaiming and reframing Christianity inside our walls, on the street, and in virtual spaces around the globe.
Can you see it? If we can see it, we can do it.
In Revolutionary Love,