Hi, I’m Bishop Brian. There’s a vision from the prophet Zechariah that I want to share with you today. It’s a vision of a city, the city of Jerusalem, where old men and old women sit safely in the streets. Where young boys and girls play safely in the streets. It is a vision of wholeness, it’s a vision of a future where all are safe. Safe to play and sit in the streets. It’s a vision that we need to hold onto as the people of God in 2021, as we continue to navigate the time of pandemic and the COVID virus, to realize that navigation is not simply for my family or for me personally, but to think about the public health of all. To think about the city, the County, the state, the nation, the world. Also, it relates to our continued work in wholeness in becoming beloved community. Realizing that the violence that’s impacted the community of Austin-East High School recently is not simply for one neighborhood or one part of one city, it’s for all of us, it’s impacted all of us. And our response should be to care for the whole city. For all the boys and girls, for all the old men and women. To know that vision of wholeness is a vision where God’s people, all of God’s people are safe and counted and matter.
As the diocese, as we continue to move towards a more hopeful Easter season, we begin to a deeper kind of Pentecost. My hope is we will find a new language and reclaim an old tongue to speak to that wider deeper vision to not give in to simply a not in my backyard kind of Christianity, but one that speaks to the whole person, the whole people. To know in our baptism we are connected to all. To all of creation, to all God’s people, and to all that God has made us and desires in us. My friends, this is a time for us to renew our hope, to renew ourselves in the strength and mercy and joy and giftedness of God. We are called now to be about a deeper vision, not giving into smaller hopes or smaller dreams, but to dream again, to hope again, to believe again, that God’s people out of the ashes can find a new kind of renewal, a new kind of hope. Amen.