I want to remember the passing and life of the venerable Buddhist priest, Thich Nhat Hanh, whom I consider one my life teachers and a person I respect and cherish. I was living in New York City and going to Union Theological Seminary at the time. 9/11 occurred and so many people died and were suffering in and around NYC. I saw first-hand how people reacted…people wanting to get revenge by bombing and killing Muslims, people cursing and telling me to go back to where I came from when I attended walks for peace and healing, churches singing God Bless America and waving American flags, and my Muslim friends being jailed because they were Muslim. Me and others sought out the Christ-like answer in the midst of all this hate. Thich Nat Hanh was in New York City speaking and my friends and I rushed to hear what he would say. He challenged us to give love and compassion in return instead of violence and death. Needless to say, we wept when we heard his words. To us, this was our Christ-like answer. Thank you sir for your teachings and presence and compassion.
Sermon: Scripture Fulfilled
Scripture: Luke 4:14-21 NRSV
14Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
16When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
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