Sermon Excerpt from the Rev. Canon Martha Kirkpatrick, January 26, 2022
I am honored to be your transitions officer. In addition to being a year of the Gospel of Luke, it is also a year for the Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew to do your own discernment as you seek the clergy person who will partner with you into SsAM’s future. I began by pointing out that all four gospels lead Jesus’ public ministry with their own story about who Jesus is for them in their hearts and in their lives.
So what do you say, when people say to you, “Tell me about SsAM”? What do you lead with? And I invite you hear – hear — what they are really asking you.
They are not asking about your social justice work. Though that is important and necessary, it’s being done in a lot of places. They are not asking about the great people you meet here; they can find social community in a lot of places. In world of so much spiritual hunger, a hunger so deep people don’t know what they are really hungry for, what people are asking you is “how do you find God here?” “Where do you see God at work?” “How is the Holy Spirit empowering your life through this community?” And their deep question is: “Can I find God here, too?”
People know in their deepest places that the world offers all sorts of bogus substitutes to soothe that hunger. People want what is real. They want to know what is in your heart, and they might not ask it again, ever. And that, my brothers and sisters, is your particular moment of Gospel proclamation. How do you see, proclaim, and participate in God’s healing work in the world in this part of the Body of Christ, this community of Saints Andrew and Matthew? And how do you shine that light in this broken and hurting world so others can find God here too?