Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
7th Sunday After Pentecost – Proper 9
2 Kings 5:1-14; Galatians 6:7-16; Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

(Gospel Text provided below)

At the risk of breaking the rules about separation of church and state, I bid you a happy 4th of July weekend! As we’ve been journeying through Luke’s Gospel this summer, we’ve seen a narrative that shows Jesus confronting the established religious authorities. He challenges the practices that conflict with God’s dream for the world – were divisions are removed and God’s love is with, and for, everyone. Jesus is the one who will overturn the status quo, allowing the lowly to be raised up and the powerful brought down.

When you stop and think about it, we see some of the same elements in the Declaration of Independence. It was about breaking away from how things had been. The founding fathers were overturning the status quo, imagining a new way forward. Declaring boldly:

jefferson-drafts-declaration-hero-AWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Now, we have to admit that there are some sticking points in this Declaration statement of 1776. The exclusion of women can’t be too surprising considering the highly patriarchal structure of that time. Yet more troubling is the reality of slavery that existed. These enslaved people were not seen as being created equal, or as being endowed with unalienable rights. So, I’ve come to understand why the 4th of July may not be the perfect celebration of liberty for our African American brothers and sisters. Read the rest of this entry »

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