Rector’s Update: dignity, life, mercy, justice
“My brothers and sisters, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” James 2:1
Every year, during the 3rd week of January, we set our gaze on the horizon of God’s righteousness and the work of His Kingdom as we honor the labors of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and as we pray for, learn about, and advocate for the sanctity of life from conception to the grave.
On Sunday, I will preach from James chapter 2 about our human proclivity to play favorites and to only love those who can love you back. The Gospel reminds us that actually, we are all equally desperate for the grace of God and all equally made in His image. ‘Showing partiality’ is one of the most challenging sins to face in our own hearts, but as we do, we find a wealth of opportunity for deep growth in our relationship with Jesus. Seeing dignity in each person we meet and treating every image bearer with the dignity they deserve opens a door for us to see the world through the eyes of Jesus who touched lepers, ate with sinners, and asked a Samaritan woman for a drink of water.
I invite you to take a deliberate step this week to do the heart work that is required to live in a Kingdom community that desires to show mercy, to work for justice, and to honor life.
Here are three ideas:
1. My friend, Jim Wildman created a video journal entry a few years ago. He was doing the heart work of wrestling through the impact of a hero’s words on young people in a hard world. I invite you to go with him along the Shenandoah River while listening to Dr. King call us to excellence in our various fields of endeavor. The video takes two and half minutes to watch. When you are done, take a few more minutes to just sit and reflect. Beauty pairs well with silence.
2. Tomorrow night, January 20, we will host the Executive Director of Little Lights Urban Ministries for a seminar called, ‘God’s heart for Justice-Centered Racial Unity’. A bunch of you have already signed up. Can’t wait to see you! If you are attending, please let us know, here. If you want to submit a question ahead of time, please use this form.
3. This weekend is the annual Summit for Life, which is sponsored by Anglicans for Life in partnership with the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. You can view the schedule, here. It begins Thursday evening. On Friday morning, there will be a worship service at The Falls Church Anglican from 9:30-10:45am, followed by buses to the March for Life. Saturday will be filled with excellent speakers and testimonies. There are both virtual and in-person options. You can register for both, here.
God calls us to see the worth He has given to every human life. I am praying that our community at Restoration continues to grow in our desire to express dignity, to honor life, to show mercy, and to work for justice.
“Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high,
who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 113.5-9)
See you on Sunday,