|Tomorrow evening the American Baptist Seminary of the West will present its annual Drexler lecture. This year the speaker is J. Brent Walker, the retiring Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty. This historic organization is supported by several Baptist groups and is a champion of real religious liberty in the USA, including the proper separation of church and state. Brent will speak on “Defending and Extending Religious Liberty for All: How Are We Doing?” I am honored to be one of the respondents along with Professor Abdullah Ali of Zaytuna College, a scholar in Islamic law and prophetic tradition.
The Spirit arrived on Sunday with colors and flame, with poppers and geese, with beautiful music and an appreciation of all things red. We also received the fruit of the Spirit as gift and challenge. Later that afternoon, Resounding Achord and the Carlmont High School Chamber Choir presented a splendid concert focused on compassion, justice, and the things that make for peace.
Which is the focus for this week’s worship. As Jesus came close to the end of his earthly life and ministry, he sat on the hillside and wept over the old city of Jerusalem. “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” He could foresee the destruction of the city that lay just around the corner. So, what are the things that make for peace. Is it too late for us to learn them and practice them, or are we sowing the seeds of our own destruction? Isaiah presents a vision of the Holy Mountain that rises in the center of God’s Beloved Community. Here the Spirit blows wildly, wisdom flows freely and there is no longer hurt or destruction for creation is set right. Will we ever get there?
In Adult Spiritual Formation we will welcome Geoff Browning, United Campus Christian Minister at Stanford and some of the students who went to Nicaragua on a good will trip this spring. He will also share news of the Stanford Peace and Justice Initiative. UCCM is a mission project of FBCPA. Both Charlotte Jackson and Pastor Gregory currently sit on its board.
Come join us for any or all of these opportunities Sunday, starting at 10:00 AM. Invite your family and friends, neighbors and colleagues, acquaintances and strangers to join us as we explore the things that make for peace.
Together, let us strive…to know God’s love!