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10.23.2011

Maybe It Sounds Crazy. . .

Sermon Preached at St. Mark's
Proper 25 A / Matthew 22:34-46


At this year’s diocesan convention, The Rev. Stephanie Spellers will be the keynote speaker.  A few years ago, I attended one of her workshops called “Radical Welcome: Practical New Tools and Ideas.”[1]  The workshop began with participants  responding to two prompts: (1) what do you think of when you hear the word “radical” and (2) what do you think of when you hear the word “welcome”?  Here are some of the things participants had to say (other words may come to your mind as well).

Radical

unpredictable – out of the ordinary – bold – extreme – on the fringes – challenging – political – revolutionary – cutting edge – committed – Jesus – confrontational – dangerous – cool and trendy – different – activist – uncompromising – expert  - deliberate – fanatical – spontaneous – scary –

Welcome

Friendly – open – inviting – relaxed – warm – eat – be yourself – generous – be at home – Jesus – take your shoes off – servant – hospitable – non-judgmental – comfortable – inclusive – extension – magnanimous – embrace - family

With these two words in mind, what might happen if we put them together – what might a “radical welcome” look like:

“Uncompromising hospitality” --> I don’t care how long you’ve been told you don’t belong; from here on out, you’re in!

“Unpredictably friendly” --> being surprised that they mean me too!

“revolutionary family” --> who are my brother and my sister?

It sounds a lot like gospel living, doesn’t it.  Today’s gospel reading is familiar to many of us – especially 8 o’clockers who hear every week:

“Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

These two commandments – though separate in the Old Testament – one found in the book of Deuteronomy and the other found in the book of Leviticus – these two commandments, as understood by Jesus, are of equal importance. [2]  When Jesus says the second is like the first, the word, in Greek for like is ho-MOY-ah  - a word that means inseparable.  So for Jesus, it is meaningless to say I love God with all my heart, with all my soul and all my mind unless, in practice, I also demonstrate love for my neighbor.  Love for God; love for neighbor – the inseparable commandments.

And who is our neighbor?  The gospel of Matthew is very explicit about this question.  In chapter 5 of the gospel, Jesus says, “You have heard it said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”[3] Our neighbors then are both our friends and our enemies – those we know and those who are “The Other.” 

In Jesus’ time, “The Other” included tax collectors, prostitutes and lepers, orphans and women and the poor – all groups of people notably included in Jesus radical welcome.  In our own time and place, who are some of “The Others”?  Who are the groups that experience marginalization in our community? What groups experience marginalization in our congregation?  What people because of their race, culture, language, generation, class, education level, sexual orientation or physical ability are on the margins at St. Mark’s or in our community?  Have we become satisfied at St. Mark’s because we accept some of these “others”, or because, even if we don’t associate with them, at least “they” are here?  And if so, does this really fulfill the commandment?  These are questions that make a lot of us uncomfortable.  But they are questions we must face honestly and openly in order to have the eyes to see “The Other” and the hearts to embrace “The Other” – in order to love our neighbors as ourselves.

“Radical welcome” then is first and foremost a spiritual practice – it is not about being cool or trendy or about being politically correct.  It is about following Christ, trusting God, surrendering to God – a spiritual practice of opening our arms to all “The Others” and allowing our hearts and our very life to be transformed by The Other’s presence, gifts, and power among us.

St. Mark’s is a blessed community.  Because of your generosity, your compassion, and your caring commitment, we are able to provide space for the Interfaith Action’s hospitality center – a place for homeless men and women to come together for shelter, for food, for support, for companionship.  Because of your generosity, your compassion and your caring commitment, we are able to send monies to the Diocese of Renk to help with church-building and now, in South Sudan, with nation-building.  Because of your generosity, your compassion, and your caring commitment, we are able to provide Christmas gifts for families who might otherwise go without through the Cathedral Shelter Christmas Basket program.  These are just some of the many ways in which St. Mark’s is a blessed community – a community that has stretched out its arms with radical hospitality.

But now, I invite you to stretch a little further.  I invite you to think about who else is marginalized in the community. Who lives on the margins of our congregation?  Perhaps it is the person who wears the same dirty clothes, and carries everything they own in the same dirty back pack who comes to the Hospitality Center day in and day out. Or perhaps it is the young boy at Oakton Elementary School who is falling behind in math and reading because there is no one at home who can help with homework and not enough volunteer tutors or mentors in the community to ensure that he - and every other child - has the tools they need for success.  Maybe it's the same-sex couple who has adopted their first child and knows of no safe place to celebrate with a community of faith.  Whose stories are not being told? Whose opinions are not asked when important decisions need to be made? These are The Others in our midst – those living on the margins of our community.  These are the ones that Jesus calls us to love as we love ourselves.

With these persons in mind, imagine offering them a radical welcome.  Imagine showering them with uncompromising hospitality.  Imagine being perceived as unpredictably friendly. Imagine inviting them to be a part of a revolutionary family at St. Mark’s.  Imagine calling one another in the middle of the week to say, “Hey! Be sure to show up at church on Sunday because it’s really important that we show our support for the new person who comes in our doors, because it’s really important that we make space for and listen to that person’s story during coffee hour, because it’s possible that that person’s story will transform our own! Hey! Be sure to show up!!!” Wouldn’t that be radical?!

Maybe it sounds crazy – maybe it sounds frightening - maybe it makes us down right uncomfortable.  But at St. Mark’s  - that is exactly what I urge each of you to do.  I want you to be here each week not because you have nothing better to do on a Sunday morning, not because you feel it is the “right” thing to do, but because you love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and because the best way you know to show that love is to embrace The Other – the unchurched person who comes through our doors to experience the love of God for the first time in their lives, the person who has been told too many times “you are not welcome here” who needs an experience of uncompromising hospitality – that kind of radical welcome that says, “I don’t care how long you’ve been told you don’t belong; from here on out, you’re in!” 

I want you to come coffee hour each Sunday to offer strangers a cup of coffee and an opportunity to tell their story not because you don’t have enough to do and not because you don’t have enough friends already, but because you love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and because the best way you know to show that love is to embrace The Other – the lonely person who comes inside with the hope that maybe at St. Mark’s, like nowhere else they’ve ever been, maybe here they will finally find someone who has time for them, as they are.  Someone whose concept of family is revolutionary – someone whose idea of radical welcome says, “You are my brother or my sister.”

Today we kick off our stewardship campaign. Sometime in the next day or two you will receive a letter from our Stewardship Cluster Co-Chairs, Nancye Kirk and Byron Scott.  In that letter you will be asked to prayerfully consider your giving to St. Mark’s for 2012. 

Some of you will pledge because you believe it is the right thing to do, the reasonable thing to do.  Others of you will pledge because it is the Biblical thing to do – Scripture suggests the tithe – or 10% - as the appropriate first fruits offering to God; Scripture includes King David’s prayer “For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.”[4]  These are good reasons to pledge. 

But, this morning I want to suggest that there is yet another – perhaps more powerful reason to pledge and to pledge generously to St. Mark’s.  I believe that some of our best years as a church are before us.  I believe that God is calling St. Mark’s to the winning cause of mission.  Through our generosity – yours and mine – people will be helped, lives will be changed, there will be times of reconciliation, wholeness, caring, and justice.  Through our generosity – yours and mine – the Other, the outsider, the stranger, those on the margins - will be radically welcomed here; the Hospitality Center will continue to serve the homeless here; our church school will continue to nurture the faith of our young people; and the sick and the homebound will continue to be fed by prayerful visits.  Through our generosity – yours and mine – we will continue to be fed abundantly by God, given everything we need to go out into the world proclaiming the redeeming love and radical welcome of God.

“Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”


[1] Stephanie Spellers book, Radical Welcome: Embracing God, the Other and the Spirit of Transformation (Church Publishing, 2006) is an excellent resource.
[2] Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:8.
[3] Matthew 5:43-44. 
[4] 1 Chronicles 29:10b-14.

10.16.2011

We Give Thanks to You, O God

Sermon Preached at St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Proper 24A - 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10Matthew 22:15-22



This morning’s gospel passage is a familiar one and, at tax time and during election season, an oft-cited one.  “Render unto Caesar. . . ” Say just these three words at a party and you’ll likely find yourself in the middle of a debate about the separation of church and state, tax resistance, politics in the pulpit or, perhaps deadlier still, the use and abuse of God in political campaigns. Three words: “Render unto Caesar.” And a debate is just what the Pharisees were looking for – again – as they continue their attempts at setting Jesus up for arrest by the Roman authorities.  If they can get Jesus to say that he is the “son of God” the “savior” the “king of kings” or the “lord of lords” – if they can get Jesus to say one should not pay taxes to the Roman government – they will have won because they will have demonstrated the very real threat that Jesus is to the Roman Emperor – not to mention Jesus’ threat to the Pharisees’ own power in the community.


But, Jesus knows what is at stake and continues to avoid their traps, giving them instead another lesson in theology.  Jesus points to the imprinted image on the Roman coin – the image of Caesar – and says, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”[i]  Perhaps Jesus’ words reminded the Pharisees of these words from King David’s final prayer, “For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.”[ii]  Or did Jesus perhaps remind them of the very law that they felt compelled to uphold – the law of God, the Torah, with its requirement of loyalty to God alone: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.”[iii]  Whatever Jesus’ response evoked, three things are made clear: (1) all that is belongs to God, (2) if we give God all that belongs to God – that is everything - there will be nothing left for Caesar – or anyone else, for that matter and (3) the Pharisees, “when they heard [Jesus’ answer,] . . . were amazed; and they left him and went away.”[iv] 


When I was a child, I remember that my parents carried in their wallets school photos of my brother, my sister, and me as well as a family photo.  Not too many years ago, I used to carry photos of my nieces in my wallet.  Today, of course, with changes in technology most of us now store these images on our cell phone, iPhone or Blackberry and have instant access to an entire album of photos.  But regardless of the technology, these images which we carry with us represent loved ones, people with whom we are in relationship, people who are inscribed upon our hearts. 


When Paul writes to the Thessalonians, he begins his letter by saying “We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”[v]  We know from the Acts of the Apostles that Paul and Silas preached in Thessalonica on three Sabbath days.  Some of the Jews “were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews, [that is, those not persuaded by Paul’s message], became jealous, and with the help of some ruffians in the marketplaces they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar . . . . That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas” away.  It is no wonder that Paul is thankful for the believers in Thessalonica.  Not only did they receive Paul’s message of the Good News but now they are living their lives out of their faith – they have become “an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.”[vi]  If he could, Paul might carry their photos in his wallet.  But, instead, he proclaims his thanks to God, he mentions the people in his prayers, and he remembers before God their work of faith, their labor of love, and their steadfastness of hope.  The people of Thessalonica are inscribed upon Paul’s heart. 


Let’s return now for a moment to this morning’s gospel reading and Jesus’ response to the Pharisees:  “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”[vii]   The Rev. Mary Anderson, Pastor of Incarnation Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina, links Jesus’ answer about taxes back to a passage in Isaiah where God’s deep connection and love for God’s people is described:  “Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.”[viii] Anderson writes, “All creation bears God’s image because God is the Creator of all things including the human man Caesar.”[ix] As Caesar’s image is imprinted on the Roman coin, so our image is imprinted – inscribed – on the palms of God’s hands. God has pictures of each of us and all of creation on his new iPhone 4S. Quite an image indeed!   Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees goes far beyond their question about taxes to a response that reminds the Pharisees and us about right priorities, about right attitudes, and, perhaps, most importantly, of right relationship with God.  As we hold dear to us those who are inscribed upon our hearts, as Paul holds dear to him the people of Thessalonica who are inscribed upon his heart, how much more so does our God hold us dear – we who are inscribed on the palms of God’s hands, we who are created in God’s very likeness.


Several years ago, during Lent, I took on a practice of writing a daily gratitude list.  I was inspired to do this by a passage in Marjorie Thompson’s book Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life:  “Our first act of hospitality to God,” she writes, “is to receive what God gives. How distressing for God to offer grace so freely, only to have us refuse or ignore it!” She then goes on to list the many ways in which we close “the door on divine love” by allowing “ourselves to become distracted and preoccupied…[by] decide[ing] that we are unworthy…[by] convince[ing] ourselves that we must first prove worthy of receiving something….It takes genuine humility,” she concludes, “to receive God’s gifts.”[x]


God delivers Jesus into the world as the ultimate gift - a gift of grace given for the world. God invites us to receive that gift, to not become distracted or preoccupied by fears that we aren’t worthy, to not become bogged down or side-tracked by misguided debates, to simply open our arms and receive.  The right attitude or response to God’s free gift is modeled for us in Eucharistic Prayer B:


“We give thanks to you, O God, for the goodness and love which you have made known to us in creation; in the calling of Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.”[xi]

“You have made us worthy to stand before you.”  We do not need to become distracted by questions about worthiness – our own or anyone else’s - for worthiness before God is a part of the gift from God – that marvelous gift of grace available to all of humanity and indeed all of God’s creation. All things come from God – even our worthiness.   And so our response to this extravagantly generous God can only be one of thanksgiving. “We give thanks to you, O God.” 


[i] Matthew 22:21.
[ii] 1 Chronicles 29:10b-14.
[iii] Deuteronomy 6:4.
[iv] Matthew 22:22.
[v] 1 Thessalonians 1:2.
[vi] 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 7.
[vii] Matthew 22:21.
[viii] Isaiah 49:15-16.
[ix] Mary W. Anderson, “Reflections on the Lectionary (Sunday, October 15, 2011),” Christian Century, October 4, 2011, p. 21.
[x] Marjorie J. Thompson, Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), 125.

10.12.2011

How Quickly We Forget

Sermon Preached at St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Sunday, October 9, 2011 - Proper 23 (Exodus 32:1-14) 

How quickly we forget. How quickly we grow impatient, or are distracted by what’s right in front of us. “So Moses went down to the people and told them.  Then God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.”[i]  This is the beginning of a set of injunctions which Moses brings down to the people from God; we have come to know these injunctions as the Ten Commandments.  The people’s response to these commands, delivered amidst “thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking,” was, quite understandably, fear and trembling.  They ask Moses to be God’s spokesperson, to not let God speak to them directly.[ii]  They appoint him as their representative or intermediary.  When Moses finishes delivering God’s words to the people, “all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words that the LORD has spoken we will do.”[iii

A short time later, God summons Moses to the mountain so that God might give to Moses all the laws and commandments written on tablets of stone.  Moses tells the people, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.”  While Moses is on the mountain, Scripture tells us that “the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. . . . [and] Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.”[iv] 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . . “the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain.”  And in no time at all, the law is forgotten, the promises ignored, and the people ask Aaron to “make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”[v]  Aaron replies to the people, “Don’t be ridiculous, he’ll be back in no time and, in the meantime, we are here, together, safe – no longer slaves in Egypt, no longer under Pharaoh’s rule.  You say that you do not know what has become of Moses.  Really? But just look over at the mountain? See how it glows with fire in our sight?  Moses is there talking with our God, the God who has delivered us from slavery.”  And with those few words, how the story might have been different.  Because, while the people are losing patience at the foot of the mountain, God is sharing with Moses the ways in which the people might worship rightly, providing detailed instructions for the building of the tabernacle and its furnishings, the altar and the court, even outlining the way in which the priests should dress and behave, declaring that Moses should “bring Aaron, and his sons . . . to serve [God] as priests.”[vi]  All of this attention to the details, instructions for keeping the Sabbath, lovingly provided by God, “given in order that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you.”[vii]  O, how the story could have been different if Aaron had simply said, “no” to the impatient Israelites.

But Aaron doesn’t say “no”; instead, he immediately tells the people, to give him all of their gold that he might melt it down and cast it into an image of a calf.  Looking upon the golden calf, the people say, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” and Aaron responds by building an altar before it and announces that the next day “shall be a festival to the LORD.”[viii]  In the background, I imagine the fiery glow of the mountain burning brighter – now hot with God’s rage.  How quickly we forget. How quickly we grow impatient, or are distracted by what’s right in front of us.  

This week, America lost two giants.   Most of us have heard more about one than the other in the past several days.  NBC affiliates around the globe began their reports of the death of 56 year old Steve Jobs with this epitaph: “visionary, rule-breaker, creative genius.”[ix]  Steve Jobs changed the way we think, the way we work, and yes, even the way many of us play.  May he rest in peace.

The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth
Receiving far less press – likely due to the unfortunate coincidence of dying on the same day as Jobs – was the death of The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.  Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Shuttlesworth as “one of the nation's most courageous freedom fighters ... a wiry, energetic and indomitable man.”[x]  In an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered last Wednesday, Georgia Representative John Lewis said, “Fred Shuttlesworth had the vision, the determination never to give up, never to give in.  He led an unbelievable children's crusade. It was the children who faced dogs, fire hoses, police billy clubs that moved and shook the nation."  After the NAACP was outlawed by an Alabama judge, Shuttlesworth founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and later, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  “A 1961 CBS documentary called Shuttlesworth the ‘man most feared by Southern racists.’” He was repeatedly jailed – 30 or 40 times by his own account. His home and church were bombed. But he did not back down.  Shuttlesworth once said, “The Lord knew I lived in a hard town, so he gave me a hard head.” [xi]  Visionary, rule-breaker, creative genius.  The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. May he rest in peace.

Recently, a Stephen Colbert quote about the state of America has been making the rounds on Facebook.  Turns out Colbert made the comment last December. He said:
“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”[xii]
You and I might argue whether or not our nation is called to be a Christian nation, but sitting here inside St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on a Sunday morning – our Sabbath day, it is difficult to argue whether or not we are called to be Christians.   And, as a Christian, I take his words to heart; and I hope you do as well.

God was pretty clear in his message to Moses and Moses was quite clear in conveying that message to the people before he went back up the mountain.  “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.”[xiii]  Either the Israelites have to pretend that God was just kidding or they’ve got to acknowledge that God did, indeed, want to be in relation with them, but that, at the end of the day, they just didn’t want to be in relation with God.

How quickly we forget. How quickly we grow impatient, or are distracted by what’s right in front of us.  How quickly we become just like those Israelites waiting at the foot of the mountain.  They have experienced miracle after miracle. They have been given deliverance and freedom. They have received so much.  And now they want something more and they want it now. Most of us are not much different. We have an odd idiom in our culture for someone who is extremely successful in the marketplace – we say they have “made a killing.”  One commentary suggests that “those who devote themselves single-mindedly to ‘making a living’ so that they might ‘make a killing’ may someday have to face an ugly truth. Instead of making a living they have been ‘making a dying.’” [xiv]  We are quick to forget that all that we have comes from God – even the gold rings the Israelites handed over to Aaron were part of the booty gathered from Egypt as they fled; were it not for God’s saving act, they would not even have the gold in the first place! 
“What should have remained pretty gold rings giving some adornment and enjoyment to life has instead become a philosophy of existence governing our relationship with others. Like the Hebrews we want to be entertained by idols that we create, instead of being engaged by a God who demands that we be in a committed, covenanted relationship with the divine and the human.”[xv]

Earlier this week, I was speaking to a parishioner about plans for our celebration of All Saints’ Day next month.  In the course of the conversation she reminded me of the wonderfully, fun song in the 1982 Hymnal “I sing a song of the saints of God.” You can find it at number 293:
I sing a song of the saints of God, 
patient and brave and true,
who toiled and fought and lived and died 

for the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen, 

and one was a shepherdess on the green:
they were all of them saints of God 

and I mean, God helping, to be one too.

They loved their Lord so dear, so dear, 
and his love made them strong.;
and they followed the right, for Jesus’ sake, 

the whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, and one was a priest, 

and one was slain by a fierce wild beast:
and there’s not any reason no, not the least, 

why I shouldn’t be one too.

They lived not only in ages past, 

there are hundreds of thousands still,
the world is bright with the joyous saints 

who love to do Jesus’ will.
You can meet them in school, or in lanes, or at sea, 

in church, or in trains, or in ships, or at tea,
for the saints of God are just folks like me, 

and I mean to be one too.
It is, as I mentioned, a wonderfully fun song, but it is also a deadly serious song.  “There’s not any reason no, not the least, why I shouldn’t be one too.”

How quickly we forget.  How quickly we grow impatient.  How quickly we are distracted by what’s right in front of us.  I pray that the life and ministry of the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth – visionary, rule-breaker, and creative genius – might cause us to pause and reflect upon our own life and ministry, to take stock of what is right in front of us and decide whether we will make our living worshipping idols of our own making or whether we will instead make our living in covenanted relationship with our God and with one another.  For there’s not any reason; no, not the least, why we shouldn’t toil and fight and live and die for the Lord we love and know.



[i] Exodus 19:25-20:1-5a.
[ii] Exodus 20:18-19.
[iii] Exodus 24:3b.
[iv] Exodus 24:12, 14, 17, 18b.
[v] Exodus 32:1.
[vi] Exodus 28:1.
[vii] Exodus 31:13.
[viii] Exodus 32:2-5.
[ix] See SBS NBC article accessed online October 6, 2011 and video clip of CNBC’ John Fort on “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” aired on MSNBC on October 5, 2011 accessed oneline on October 6, 2011.
[x] Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can’t Wait, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986), 52.
[xi] The information on The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth is taken from Debbie Elliott, "Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Civil Rights Pioneer, Dies," All Things Considered (National Public Radio, October 5, 2011) accessed online on October 6, 2011.
[xii] Quoted by David Niewert, “Colbert Follows O’Reilly’s Logic: ‘We’ve got to pretend Jesus was just as selfish as we are,’” David Niewert’s Blog on Crooks and Liars, December 20, 2010 accessed online on October 6, 2011.
[xiii] Exodus 19:25-20:1-5a.
[xiv]Are You Making a Living or Making a Dying?HomileticsOnLine (October 10, 1993), accessed online on October 4, 2011.
[xv] “Are You Making a Living or Making a Dying?”