Even though most Georgia schools now start in August, September still clings to its identity as the “back-to-school” month, with churches, including OPC, scheduling “back-to” events at this time. And so it will be for us again this year (see details below).
But this September feels different. This September feels like “back to” an America in which it was acceptable to be a racist, “back to” a world in which it was acceptable to be a Nazi. Our youth experienced racism at the recent Montreat Youth Conference, and we all experienced the horror of white supremacist violence on display in Charlottesville. So, let me stop right here to say what you all know: it has never been—and will never be—acceptable to be racist or Nazi or anything that is driven by hate or inspired by the assertion that some of God’s children are inferior to others. Such assertions—whether overtly declared or carefully disguised—are sinful, blasphemous, obscene, and just plain wrong.
God does not do “back to.” God the Source creates each new day, always doing a new thing, always doing things worthy to be called, “very good.” God the Son builds new grace upon old ways, saying, “You have heard…but I say to you…” and breaking down every dividing wall. God the Spirit accompanies us into new terrain, guides us into new ways of being, helps us see new visions of God’s in-breaking realm.
Beloved Church, God has made us for such a time as this and calls each of us to live as a blessing to all. And when that’s especially difficult—like it may be right now—it’s especially important.
Which is why I thank God for this community. And why I urge you to lean into our shared ministry. Jesus doesn’t do “back to,” but we are invited to come back to Jesus, not just every September or every Sunday, but every moment.
You remain in my prayers,
Interim Senior Pastor