Sermon For November 23, 2014

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

“Enough Is Enough”

Franklin Circle Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Cleveland, Ohio ~ www.FranklinCircleChristianChurch.org

Rev. Allen V. Harris, Pastor & Preacher ~ E-Mail: PastorAllen@FranklinCircleChurch.org

Twitter: @FranklinCircle ~ Pastor’s Blog: https://nearwestclevepastor.wordpress.com

 

A beautiful Thanksgiving table is set at the home of David & Geoff.

A beautiful Thanksgiving table is set at the home of David & Geoff.

“Enough Is Enough!” you proclaim as you push yourself away from the Thanksgiving Day table. You have eaten too much already, and far more than you vowed to yourself on the trip over to grandma’s house. She’s been plying you constantly with food, like a barker at the fairgrounds because she knows how hard it is to say “no!” to your grandmother! You marvel at the bounty of the feast, especially knowing the ups and downs of the previous year. Every November you marvel at how your grandmother magically unveils a sumptuous spread of the finest foods, even after years of leanness, even after recurring bouts of cancer, even after years where there were more deaths than births. But still, this body can take only so much ingestion before and explosion is imminent! And, besides, the tryptophan is starting to kick in. Enough is enough…

 

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A member of our human family brutally murdered.

 

Transgender Day Of Remembrance, Cleveland, OH City Hall, November 2012.

Transgender Day Of Remembrance, Cleveland, OH City Hall, November 2012.

“Enough Is Enough!” the mournful marchers proclaim as they slowly move toward the vigil site. The murder of any person is horrible, but the fact that the lives of our transgender sisters and brothers seem to be particularly expendable by the forces of evil in the world is especially despicable. “Sylvia,” “Benny,” “Rosa,” Jacqueline,” “Rayka,” “Prince Joe,” “Toni,” Cristal,” “Alejandra,” “Karen,” “Cris,” “Gizzy,” the names go on and on and on, and the causes of death are as horrific as any horror movie could depict. When will we as a human race finally see that the most important common denominator is that we are alive and we are human, and we all have a rightful place on the planet. As the placards with the pictures of those who have been ruthlessly murdered in the past year are set one by one at the front of the hall, each one of us whispers, “enough is enough…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retirement party for David, from the RTA Police Dept.

Retirement party for David, from the RTA Police Dept.

Ruth's retirement party, from Metro Hospital.

Ruth’s retirement party, from Metro Hospital.

“Enough Is Enough!” she shouts out through the laughter. She had suspected the retirement party was in the works, but she had no idea so many people would turn out for her, a simple elementary school teacher who only wanted to make a difference in one child’s life. Presenter after presenter went on far too long, extoling her virtues and accomplishments like she was a saint or a movie star. She must have had a permanent blush on her face the entire party, as former student after former student, grandchildren of former students who were also her students, administrator after teaching colleague after parent talked about her simple yet effective approach to education, her valuing each and every student like he or she were the only one she would ever teach, her willingness to stand up to self-important superintendents and speak out against hair brained educational schemes. As they hand her the gift, a huge mock check that shows the amount of money raised for the scholarship fund for disadvantaged children who need help with supplies and such, she bursts out into tears crying, “Dear Lord, enough is enough!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rally in the wake of the verdict in the death of Trevon Martin, Cleveland, OH.

Rally in the wake of the verdict in the death of Trayvon Martin, Cleveland, OH.

 

Protester at the rally following the verdict in the killing of Trevor Martin.

Protester at the rally following the verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin.

“Enough Is Enough!” the angry marchers chant as they march up to city hall. “Enough Is Enough!” cry out mothers whose children have been killed by violence on the street – random and calculated. “Enough Is Enough!” cry out fathers whose children have been shot by police mistaking cell phones for guns or playful teen mischievousness for criminal behavior. “Enough Is Enough!” cry out our African American and Hispanic sisters and brothers who see far too many dark-skinned faces on the newscast and on

God Before Guns march and rally, Cleveland, OH, May 2014

God Before Guns march and rally, Cleveland, OH, May 2014

the obituary pages than their population would naturally apportion, whether through the violence of disease, of poverty, or of racism. “Enough Is Enough!” cry out advocates against gun violence when the excuses outnumber the confessions, the self-preservation outweighs the soul-searching, the grand-standing outweighs the problem-solving, the gut impressions and knee-jerk reactions outweigh the statistics and the reality. “Enough Is Enough!” the people in pain cry out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Allen (photographer unknown)

Pastor Allen (photographer unknown)

“Enough Is Enough!” the pastor proclaims to the church that understands deeply God’s bountiful blessings. Being centered in the promise that “God will provide” and certain of the fact that “God has provided,” the congregation finds a focus in the mission they have been called to in this day and in this place and a confidence in the future whatever it may hold. The pastor smiles as he looks out on the faces of the people who give so much… so much time, so much energy, so much talent, so much wisdom, so much faithfulness, so much money… so much money. His heart is full to overflowing, knowing that his people – God’s people – give as much and as best as they are able, to ensure that the amazing ministry of this humble community of Christ happens day in and day out… children and youth are taught in the ways of Jesus; couples are counseled, the sick are visited, the dying are sent off with blessings as abundant as tears; people are fed not only with thoughtful study but food and fellowship; songs are sung to the glory of God and the celebration of humanity; clothing is giving – both the armor of salvation as well as hats and gloves and coats for a harsh winter; space is offered to a community in need of tumbling, yoga, tai chi, and discussions about bike lanes and zoning laws.

 

“Enough Is Enough!” the pastor whispers to himself as pledges of commitment flow in from the community to undergird the church’s work and facilities for the coming year, knowing full well that all the resources needed to sustain strong, vibrant, and true community are already present there – the only need is to inform and inspire and equip those with the resources needed to share.

 

“Enough Is Enough!” the pastor tells himself in the dark and fertile hours of prayer, when soul-searching and self-examination seem to

Allen V. Harris, human.

Allen V. Harris, human.

call him up short, when he feels inadequate to the tasks at hand, much less tasks ahead, when he feels more broken than whole. In those moments of prayer and meditation he is reminded, by the gentle warm winds of the Holy Spirit, that the very reason God chose this clay jar, this cracked pot, was so that it would be made clear to us that this extraordinary power belongs to God, and does not come from us. (2 Cor. 4:7)

 

“Enough Is Enough!” the pastor thinks to himself as he reads the words of thanksgiving for the day: And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. (2 Cor. 9:8)

 

Yes, enough is enough… this Thanksgiving, and always. Let us recommit ourselves to making sure that all have enough by sharing abundantly in every good work. And may it be so.

 

Amen.

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