I greet you in the name of our renewing and transforming Savior.
As I write this message, I am aware that in the Christian Calendar we are reaching the end of Epiphany (newness), approaching the Lenten Season (change) and that Transfiguration Sunday is between the two. Yet regardless of the season, the Psalmist says:
“The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising sun to the place where it sets. …gather the consecrated ones, who made a covenant … and proclaim his righteousness … (Psalm 50:1-6).
It is in January, during the Epiphany season, that we observe and celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and, like him, we “Have a Dream” of a more just, inclusive and peaceful society. The full realization of the “Dream” is yet to be reached, as is the fulfillment of God’s reign, when we shall all be one. Our world is still plagued with injustice, discord and violence. Creating a more just order requires changing the structures of power that perpetuate prejudice, exclusion and bigotry due to race, culture, gender and other obstacles to fulfilling human potential and dignity for all.
Our mighty and Still Speaking God summons us, His people, to a greater sense of awareness and new consciousness that require that we step out of our own comfort zones and show compassion for “the other” – those less like us.
This past December, our Conference Ministry Leadership Team issued a pastoral letter to our churches and members asking that we bear witness to our God, a God who mandates justice, love and compassion. I pray that in the year 2015, we can grow our compassion and our consciousness toward building a more just society. I pray that we may have the courage to address those ills that prevent us from living with compassion, love, unity and prevent us from building God’s beloved community.
The December pastoral letter from the MLT provided “A Litany for Those Who Aren’t Ready for Healing”; “Talking Points for Beginning Courage’s Conversation, A Liturgy for Holding a Vigil of Prayer.” Because the information was mailed during the approaching Christmas Season, you and your congregation may not have had time to address what the letter called for. I encourage you to look for and print the letter and the accompanying resources. Any time, this time, the Lenten Season, is a good time to for us, the consecrated of God, to hear, heed and respond to God’s summon and to proclaim God’s righteousness.
I pray that you will make use of the resources provided by the MLT Pastoral Letter and that you will find them helpful in your ministry with God’s people. If you need the letter and the accompanying document sent to you again, please contact the Conference office.
May the peace and joy of the Christ abide with you and your family,
Rev. Dr. Jorge L. Morales