"That Church"

Made in God’s Image

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Sermon notes:
All peoples
Greg: demon
Words are powerful. Can trap someone into self hate.
Fcco: we used to have doctors…
Words are powerful. Can trap a people in amber.
Mother is Scottish Presbyterian; father is Hindu. Shiva danced the world into existence. Whereas in genesis, God speaks the world into existence.
One similarity: Many facets for one God. God too complex for us to understand in one manifestation.
Genesis 1:26-27: “

26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind[c] in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth,[d] and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” God created humankind[e] in his image,    in the image of God he created them;[f]    male and female he created them.”

Let us make humankind in our image. Us. Our.

The word is so powerful it can create something from nothing, life from no life.
God is so powerful that God cannot be contained in one pronoun, one gender identity, one body.
So why do we humans keep constraining God, limiting God, and limiting language, the source, potentially, of creation?
Oakland peace center. Prisoners learning to lead nonviolent movement building. Women leaving DV shelter getting basic necessities for first home on their own. Children who have been through trauma learning compassion for themselves and empathy for others.
Spoke the OPC into existence: gathering nonprofits to see if they wanted to collaborate and share space. But before that, a painful process of re-wording.
Insurance agent tour…we had doctors and lawyers…but they called me pickaninny.
After another year of relanguaging, matriarch of the church pulled me aside after worship…we had doctors…but we’re nicer now.
Greg had re-languaging: demon eventually became junior. He learned that the God who hates him is not the only God available to him. He now runs a landscaping company in the valley.
We live in a nation where a small but temporarily powerful group of people are trying to limit God’s vastness and limit our language.
We have a job ahead of us: to help juniors know they are more than demons. To help the church know it can be about changing the world, not just holding onto its past achievements. To liberate God from such limited language. To tell different stories that create a world of gender inclusion and racial justice and embracing same gender love as beautiful and holy. To name what we want to leave behind from the past so that it does not continue to follow us, and to name the Beloved Community we want to live in so we never lose sight of that beautiful goal.
And then God will look at us and they will see that it is very good.