Pastor’s Column – Apr 2024

Pastor’s Column – Apr 2024

raibow on hand
“particle or wave?” by hlkljgk is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Ever since I was a little boy
I believed in something good.
And so I did my best to go to Sunday school,
Every Sunday like I should
And I remember the day when I had to leave
And I thought it was all a stage
I let fear and anger get hold on me
And they locked me in their cage
But when love came creeping through the window pane
All I could do was wonder why
I swore I did not deserve it but still, it came,
And now it holds me when I cry
And ever since I was a little boy
I believed in something good

ever since by bobby jo valentine

On Good Friday, we told the story of Jesus suffering and dying on the cross. We meditated on the cross and this horrific scene that is as important to our faith story as anything Jesus said or did. We reflected upon the cross and how that scene continues to play out today. There are places of terror and senseless violence, and it’s closer than we care to admit. There are parts of our journey that involve great suffering and tremendous loss.

The poem above was written by Bobby Jo Valentine, a singer-songwriter who performed at Grace a couple of weeks ago. Those who went to his concert can connect it with the powerful and painful testimony he shared with us on stage. He was an active member of his church growing up. Then he came out that he was gay, and the church completely abandoned him. “And I remember the day when I had to leave. And they locked me in their cage.” Those lines remind me of Good Friday. Sometimes, it’s grief or our health troubles that entomb us. Other times, it’s real social unrest going on in our world. Sometimes, it’s the sin of homophobia or racism that denies someone their God-given humanity. Good Friday ends with Jesus being placed in a tomb.

With great difficulty and pain, we recognize suffering is real in our world today, and yes, we have to sit in it sometimes and often not by choice. However, the hope of Easter, the hope of the risen Christ, is what Bobby’s hope and ours too, and that is the “good.” The story never ends in the tomb but in the goodness of God, whose steadfast love can bring us back from the dead.

It’s not hard to point out the Good Friday moments in our lives or the world. What is hard, and what we are called to as people of faith, is to point out the resurrections: the person who may not be fully healed but is present to the good around them and within them. The child who finds an affirming community to be who they really are. The refugee who has discovered sanctuary and safety in central Ohio. The flower unfurling brightly colored pedals. Easter is all around us and it always will be. God is good.

Blessings for the journey,
Rev. Keith McDevitt