The events of Charlottesville and political aftermath have been difficult for us. Perhaps most difficult for us as a church is to determine how we talk about racism.
Jesus began his ministry by talking with moralism, but as his crowds grew and opposition increased, he changed the method of his preaching by talking in parables. The beauty of parables is that they allow people to come around to the teachings on their own terms. As Emily Dickinson said, “Tell all the truth, but tell it slant … the truth must dazzle gradually for all the world be blind.”
In our faith, we believe in transformation. Jesus has faith that people can change. Those high school friends planting the seeds of racism on our Facebook feeds, the uncle who spouts racist rhetoric at the dinner table and even Nazis and white supremacists can change.
What are we to do? The world, more than ever, needs the nonviolent message of Jesus Christ. We ought to be kind to our enemies — those who need to hear the message. Hang in there with those people. Don’t blast with the truth. They can’t handle it. It has to “dazzle gradually.”
There is no depth to the love of God. There is no person who is beyond the light of truth. And if it is not us who shows them the way, then who will?
“Tell All the Truth, but Tell it Slant”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
Matthew 13: 1-17
Aug. 20, 2017