A couple weeks ago now, I came to Sunday morning with a message that wasn’t going to be enough. We had witnessed the mass shooting in El Paso the day before and woke up to news of the mass shooting in Dayton. The message God was tugging at me to preach wasn’t exactly what I had prepared. Grumbling, grieving and unsure, I came into the church early that morning to add words to my already prepared message that dealt with the events of the weekend. Those words culminated in four questions to ponder: What if we acted? What if our thoughts were matched with protests? What if our prayers were accompanied by purposeful actions? What if our faith grew legs?
I wanted to act. I have decided how I am going to act when it comes time to vote for candidates. But I wanted to do more. There could be a hundred valid excuses why I didn’t do more in that week that followed, but none of those are important now. The truth is, I didn’t take any of the concrete actions I wanted to take that week. Only later in the week did I hear about the demonstration on the steps of the capital and wished I had been there.
That morning there were guests in worship. They had a very different response to the movement of the Holy Spirit among us that day. They heard the questions and were compelled to respond. They drove down to the capital that Wednesday. They did not carry placards or signs. Instead they carried the love of God and a spirit of determination, and they stood silently as a witness to the need for something to be done to stop these deadly mass shootings that are plaguing our nation. Their faith grew legs and they acted!
So today I want to offer you a way to respond in faith that will help your faith grow legs! Follow this link from UMC Church & Society to ask our elected officials to pass background checks legislation I did it today and the letter of encouragement went specifically to my elected officials.
If that is not your thing, that’s fine. I encourage you to find some way to offer more love, stand in protest, speak out or act out. Do something to respond It will change your life! It will change all of our lives! And when you have done something to help your feet grow legs around our nation’s sin of gun violence, tell me your story. I am grateful to hear about the variety of ways faith grows legs!
If you are in town this weekend, join me as we look at what it means to persevere even when life throws a curve at us! I’ll see you in worship!
Pastor Becky Jo Messenbrink