Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Rev. Mike Kinman, Sunday, July 2, 2017
Mike has been a tireless advocate of social justice, and his values are reflected in this powerful sermon that he delivered at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena on July 2, 2017, the Sunday before Independence Day.
"My sister, pastor Traci Blackmon taught me that West African proverb: “Until the Lion tells the story, the hunter will always be the hero...We have stories we tell ourselves. Stories that create meaning. Stories that define virtue and vice, that rationalize and justify. Stories that help us to sleep at night and look ourselves in the mirror when we rise...We have stories we tell ourselves and, as Winston Churchill once said, those stories are told by the victors. They are told by the hunters, not the hunted. And the hunter is always the hero...But there is always another story. A story told by the lion, by the hunted...
"The truth is our faith story is a continual paradox, a constant tension between aspirational values of love and liberation and the song of the lion … and the truth that so often our story is just one more tale told by the hunter used to justify the hunt and glorify the kill. And we struggle with it. We struggle with the aspirational love of Christ compared with the historic and contemporary behavior of Christians. We struggle with the tension in our own hearts between the Gospel we preach and the lives we lead."
"We hear Jesus’ command to “Let the love you extend be full just as the love God extends is full” and yet we permit our siblings to sleep on the streets, gun ownership to be a more sacred right than health care, and education and opportunity and the very right to remain in this country to be determined by country of origin and color of skin." See the full text