Monthly Archives: July 2016

Sermon – July 10, 2016

St. John the Evangelist
The Rev. Noah Van Niel

Proper 10 (C): Deuteronomy 30:9-14; Psalm 25:1-9; Colossians 1:1-14; Luke 10:25-37

“Red, White, and Blue”

The weather this past week had a funny way of mirroring the national mood. A week that started with a resplendent Fourth of July turned stormy by its end. Gun shots that in one context were fired in joyous celebration right outside our front lawn were soon echoed on shaky mobile cameras uploaded to the internet to be repeated across every news outlet in America. We watched the life drain away from two more black men at the hands of police who did not, suffice to say, exhaust all their means for peaceful resolution of the situation and were too quick to pull the trigger and end a life, leading to renewed questions of whether these two black lives mattered in their eyes. Alston Sterling and Philando Castile were added to the list of names of young men of color who lost their lives at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve them. And then, crowds who on Monday gathered to watch fireworks were replaced by crowds fleeing for their lives as bullets rained down from above aimed at the courageous men and women in uniform who were keeping the peace and doing a good job of it. Five officers– Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Lorne Ahrens–gunned down by an angry man with a sniper rifle. As I forced myself to watch the footage of these incidents, I couldn’t help but notice that Mr. Sterling was wearing a red shirt in the video where he was killed. Mr. Castile a white one. And the police officers were in their blues. All of them soaked with blood. Rarely has red white and blue caused such pride and such sorrow in such a short number of days. Continue reading