Deciding to attend LW this Sunday (July 4th) was a coin toss- and I hate to put it that way- however due to a busy weekend we thought perhaps we would take this particular Sunday and well, sleep in. That's funny because our sleeping in is until 6:45 am on pretty much any given weekend.
I made the call....we'll go!
SO glad I called it.
After my latest post with all the whining and complaining of one particular issue- our service on July 4th given by Pastor B*, was a standing ovation. Not that he received one- but on the inside I was applauding him, I was standing on my seat as if I were in Yankee stadium cheering for my boys- I was saying "yes, yes, yes it's about time!"- something I have been feeling for a very long time- way before I began my spiritual journey.
He spoke of our judgements towards others. He spoke of a human race so divided, we build walls due to complete misunderstandings- because we don't understand the differences of people we become suspicious and build not only walls, but we add barbed wire layers surrounding the walls.
This has been existing for a very long time- it's nothing new.
The power of hatred. The power of evil in all of us.
The judgement we hold against others because of their differences. Race, religion, gender, what we wear or where we live, what gang we belong to, or what country club we socialize in.
What car we drive or the house we own. Some examples were those of political parties, sport rivals and religious beliefs.
I personally appreciate the visual examples Pastor B* provided for us. Using such movies as Crash and Hotel Rwanda was a perfect tool. I watched both of these movies more than once-and they are not the type of movie to invite your friends over for pop corn and iced tea.
Like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, these movies are raw- they are so close to real life.
They express a broken human race- humans that judge and hate.
Pastor B* became very emotional while speaking. He gave a warning that we will feel uneasiness as we listen to him. Open wounds maybe? The guilt? The raw pure hatred some of us, maybe most of us feel for others? The judgement? The shame? The racial tension? The religious wars we fight?
As he reminded us that God loves everyone- not just Christians- or the "do gooders"- but all mankind. His closing question was given with a cracking in his voice- "What will pull us together?"
You would have needed to be a stone hearted individual not to feel something during this service. You would have to be closed off completely. Am I judging here? Possibly, so I apologize. For me, and my family sitting in the low attended service on this 4th of July, 2010- I felt something. I felt a lot of something.
I felt as I begin my new day- I want to be part of the leaders and followers who tear down these walls. The new Berlin Wall- the Chinese bamboo gate- the "no trespassing" sign attached to a fence- the Mexican/USA border war- the racist barrier that divides us- the religious wars attached to our hearts.
And with this march, I must remind myself not to judge or find the hatred in my heart that once festered because of what I may have witnessed or the pain I may have felt from someone. I must remind myself to hold the hand of my enemy- in my heart.
If I could....I would highly suggest Pastor B*'s sermon be repeated yearly.
You may listen to Pastor B* by linking onto: www.lwccyork.com (July 4th service)
Suggested movies: Crash ** Freedom Writers ** The Boy in the Striped Pajamas ** Hotel Rwanda ** and if you can stomach the violence and tolerate the language- American History X
Life Lesson: Less division- I never really liked math anyway.