Living in Unity - A Sermon for Pentecost 5B (Psalm 133)

Psalm 133

The 133rd Psalm is one of my favorite passages of Scripture, because it speaks to one of my passions in life. That passion is the pursuit of Christian unity. It’s a blessing to hear the words: “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” This is especially true when the course of history seems to be pulling nation and world further and further apart. 
The Psalmist reminds us that there is a better way, a way of unity. Perhaps this is why I was moved so powerfully the other evening, as  the Madrigal Chorale brought their concert to a close by singing Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” Yes:  I see trees of green........ Red roses tooI see em bloom..... For me and for youAnd I think to myself.... What a wonderful world.Yes, what a wonderful world we live in, a world of God’s creation.

Our Disciple identity statement offers a vision of wholeness taking hold in a fragmented world. This is a movement that begins at the Lord’s Table where all are wel…

The Apostle and the AG -- Sightings (Margaret M. Mitchell)

Recently the Attorney General tried to defend the Government's policy of separating parents from children at the border, a policy apparently suspended by executive order by the President, who had originally stated that as much as he would like to, he couldn't do anything about it, since the Democrats had created a bad law. Ultimately, he gave in, gave guidance, and families won't be separated (at least for now). What has gotten a lot of attention in the midst of this tragedy is Jeff Session's interpretation of Romans 13, suggesting that Paul was enjoining people to obey the laws of the government. Many have argued that this was a mistaken interpretation -- it is. But what do the New Testament scholars have to say? Well, Margaret Mitchell, the Shailer Matthews Professor of New Testament at the University of Chicago has given us insight -- and a fresh translation of Romans 13 (worth the price of reading this post). I believe she is on to something here. Paul isn't ta…