A day of joy.
“God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21 The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” (1 John 4:16b-21)
For sisters and brothers
who have worked for so many years to stand together as equals across differences of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, class, citizenship, and all else that divides us;
who see so clearly that we still have far, far to go, that they can all the more rejoice on a day like today;
who have sought within themselves and outwardly in our world the perfection of love, suffering rejection and serious danger to be true to the call of love on their lives;
who in the perfection of love “may have boldness on the day of judgment” (v. 17);
who wrestle with God and one another to be faithful to the unfolding revelation of love in us;
who even in sincere disagreement with one another stand beside each other as brothers and sisters;
who today in Charleston, and Washington, and across our nation, and around the world call on fear to turn to a more excellent way;
and in whom love abides;
I give thanks.