A Letter From Pastor Sunny
This is one of those rare weeks when I find myself needing to change what I had written to you as your pastor. This Sunday, we will talk about Progressive Christianity's focus on Jesus and his teachings, and I had written a letter to you about that. However, the events of this week have led me to rewrite the letter to you. Hopefully, next week I will go back to our regular schedule.
This past Wednesday, we all witnessed a shameful event that epitomized the "loser's" tenure in the highest office of this nation. You note that I cannot even write his name, so I will refer to him as the "loser." His behavior teaches us many things, but there are two main ways the ways of Jesus was diabolically opposed to the behavior of the "loser".
In our celebrating communion last Sunday, we celebrated the sacrifice of Jesus for us. Each week, millions of people worship Jesus and celebrate his giving up of his life for his followers. In his words, "this is my body…and this is my blood," we are reminded, each and every time we celebrate communion, that Jesus gave himself for us so we could experience new life through his sacrifice. However, what we saw this Wednesday was nothing more than the ugliness of misuse of power and consequences of delusion and brainwashing.
Absent was the "loser" who called on his followers to commit a crime. He called on others to do his bidding of committing a crime, is absent in cowardice and does not accept responsibility. The "loser's" behavior following the seditious criminal acts perpetrated on the Capitol is diabolically opposed to the actions of Jesus after the actions of followers in his name. In Matthew 26:51-54, we find Peter – although the text does not identify the person, but the tradition claims that it was Peter – using a sword to cut off the ear of a slave of the high priest in the Jesus' arrest story in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus stops his followers from further violence and restores the health of the young man. This is true leadership.
The second difference we saw this week was the message of the leader. The message of Jesus was one of peace and truth, while the message this week was destruction and lies. It was embarrassing to be a citizen of the country where the leadership knowingly repeated lies over and over even when he is exposed as a liar. To ask his followers to destroy the country simply because he lost an election and repeating the lie that he won by a landslide, can be explained by either insanity or immorality. The "loser" on Wednesday took to the words of a jilted, jealous teenage lover, "if I can't have you, no one will have you." We all know from crime documentaries that these stories end in violence and death.
Jesus, on the other hand, asks his followers to do better and be better. Jesus asks his followers to make the world a better place for everyone. He asks his followers to make the world a more just place for everyone. Jesus asks his followers to be people of peace. The message of Jesus was forgiveness and new life for all who will hear of his stories.
History will not be very kind to us if we do not learn from this event. We must be disciples of Jesus and build a better world, not be a disciple of evil and destroy what we can't have. We must be disciples of love and show compassion, kindness, and acceptance, not hate, division, and violence. We must be disciples of grace and graciousness, not ignorance, conspiracies, or temper tantrums. Let us be people of God. Let us be people of grace and peace. God help us all.