Your Blog Steward

My photo
Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Racism and Listening

Below you will find a sermon I preached yesterday. Although I preach on social issues all the time, I rarely provide the over-arching "meta-type" of sermon that goes to the systemic heart of all our problems.

A long time ago, Hegel taught me about systems. His idea of competing forces seeking a new reality strikes at the heart of systems theory. Even the great Edward Friedman hasn't improved on that idea. But here's the thing to remember about Hegel, he gave Karl Marx an even better idea. Marx took Hegel's ideas and placed them in our historical, material world. And that's how most of us learn about systems. (When was the last time you read Hegel?)

Every time a Black American is abused, killed, or punished because of their skin color, Marx (and Hegel) wins. Every time a woman receives less pay for a job just because she is a woman, Marx (and Hegel) wins. Most people learn about the unfairness of systems in our day-to-day living. We don't need Hegel or Marx to point us to the injustices of racism and sexism (and any other "ism.")

Jesus Christ has entered the world of Karl Marx and history. His death and resurrection frees us from the traps of history so that we may be free to live in history unencumbered by sin, death, and the devil. You see how well that works out. Those three are tough foes, and don't give up without a fight.
So here's the sermon. Remember, I live one mile from Warren Buffet, and the town I preach in has a median household income of about $80,000 a year. This is our reality...what's yours? And how are you listening to the stories around and about you?

May your tables be full, and your conversations be true.

No comments: