I received a copy of an email several weeks ago. It was from a member of our congregation expressing her appreciation for the people, buildings, and grounds that comprise Trinity Church. She was particularly glad that her teenage children found peace, strength, love, and comfort in the midst of life’s anxieties whenever they were on the campus.
I have been thinking a lot about that note as we prepare to enter into another program year here. While I know that the cares of the world are always with us, we are presently living in a moment of great anxiety. It seems to me that this anxiety is rooted in fear of our neighbors both near and far, a fear expressed in suspicion, doubt, anger, hatred, false pride, and poisonous partisanship.
I therefore have a simple recommendation to make. In the coming year, let’s make Trinity an anxiety-free zone with God’s help. You may remember that in a sermon some months ago I shared that, as disciples of Jesus, we are called always to hope and never to fear. That hope is grounded in God’s perfect love, not just for some of us, but for each and every one of us. Furthermore, that love gives us the courage to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world while we incorporate this Good News in our community. Finally, in allowing Christ’s love to cast out all fear within us, we are set free to really enjoy life as God intends and have fun while we’re at it!
Yes, I know that we are human. I know that our natural inclination to self-absorption means that you and I will never be able to love perfectly. Nonetheless my friends, that is no excuse not to try to love one another as Christ loves us each and every day, not some of the time, but all of the time. To borrow from the lyrics of Hal David, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” That is no mere sentiment. That is sublime and profound theology. That is the foundation on which our community, buildings, and grounds are built. It is the reason for the incarnation and the resurrection. It is our reason for being as well.
See you on Sunday.
The Rev. Robert L. Banse, Jr.