What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yesterday we had a wonderful service that highlighted the gifts of small and Indigenous communities. We heard a wonderful drum, a native flute and several native languages including Navajo, Lakota, and Shoshone. Despite unimaginable challenges, folks have come together to celebrate the love of God in their lives. Tonight, we will gather together to participate in a lament, which will face the effects of the Doctrine of Discovery. As Indigenous people, we have been conquered, diminished, and suffered from generations of abuse and misunderstandings. Despite it all, through our faith and communities, we are more than conquerors, more than just survivors, but people who God has called to lead the church.
Writing to the Romans, Paul reminds the people of God's love and power in their lives. They have suffered from horrible abuse and the writer reminds them that
" I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Despite what greedy, selfish and abusive people and powers attempt, we are more than the most powerful and most violent, we are beloved of God.
Prayer for General Convention - 5
O Great Creator of all peoples and cultures, be present among us with your power today. Help those who have been abused and marginalized to know the power of your love in their lives. May the past hurts, damages and theft become mere shadows of your blessings and abundance to come. May we become those who are called by you and who become leaders and servants of all. In Christ, who gave his life so that we could be more than abusers and conquerors, Amen.