“In Our Times” by Rev. Stephanie Cooper

Yesterday, like many of you, I was engrossed with the Kavanaugh hearings. Throughout much of the day, I had the hearings on as I drove around from meeting to meeting and on my computer as I sent emails and worked on budget requests. The decisions made by the Senate will impact the future of our country for decades to come.

There were several “quote-worthy” moments from yesterday’s hearings but I was most deeply struck by the questions from Senator Kennedy as we all neared the end of a very long day.  Senator Kennedy, one of the last to question Kavanaugh, leaned forward in his chair and stared deeply into Judge Kavanaugh. And after a long pause Kennedy asked, “Do you believe in God?” Kavanaugh responded, “Yes I do.” Kennedy nodded. He let the silence rest in the room a while longer before asking point blank if Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Dr. Ford to which Kavanaugh replied, “No.”

Kennedy’s point was made. Human creations of justice and and right-living pale into comparison to this different way by which we Christians claim to live. Regardless of whether or not Kavanaugh took those questions to heart or if he just saw the entire hearing as a hoop to jump through, Kennedy stepped outside of our human-made creations for “justice” to reach towards a Higher power to tap into the foundation of truth, justice, and liberty for ALL.

I am reminded of the end of the book of Judges where it states, “In these times, the Israelites did not have a King [read “in the time when the Judges ruled”], everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” Anytime folks in the Bible are “doing what is right in their own eyes”, it’s never good thing. It usually points towards abuse, oppression, and domination of people and creation for personal gain.

While I am so proud to be an American and have such trust in our processes as a democracy, I must admit, it sometimes feels like we are in the time where Judges rule. Asylum-seeking children are being asked to defend themselves alone in court and the voices of women are dismissed too quickly and easily. This is so opposite of what we are called to time and again in our faith. We are called to create paths for freedom.  As followers of Jesus we are called to enact his reading of scripture in Luke 4: We are called to proclaim good news to the poor, freedom for the oppressed, and release for the captives.

Those of us who are called to this peculiar way, this Christian faith, we are called to speak the truth of this Higher power. We are to proclaim justice, peace, wholeness, and truth.  And sisters and brothers, while it may feel like hope is fleeting, we must follow the example Christ set for us. Let us be an example of love, inclusion, peace, and justice for all.
Associate Pastor Stephanie Cooper

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