Given By Rev. Dr. Timothy Murphy April 2, 2017

We welcome back our former Youth Minister, Rev. Timothy Murphy, to the pulpit. Today, we speak to the issue of where to find hope even after going through struggles or losing things we find most dear to us.  The things we value as progressive Christians are under attack and the changes we need for our world are stymied.  We must remember though, this is not the first time Christians or other religious people have met severe tragedy and suffering. People in the past have found resilience and hope.

The story from Ezekiel shows a bit of that process. The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, a place not only important religiously but culturally and politically too.  God gives Ezekiel a vision of dry bones. Through the power of God, the bones live again. Just as the people’ s hopes are like dry bones, the good news of God can breathe new life into them and restore their hope. The Good News promises new life and justice for all the suffering we experience.  We are raised up. We speak of a collective resurrection of spirit.  It is the opposite of repression, almost like “insurrection”. A recent example of this is Standing Rock, North Dakota.

Another example is the struggle over Prop. 8.. It is hard to wait. The Holy Spirit revives us. “It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task, yet you are not free to desist  from it.” We are God’s hands and feet on earth. It is everyone’s responsibility to carry on and allow the spirit to give us the strength to continue God’s work.