The Lamb’s Church of the Nazarene is a multi-ethnic evangelical congregation in Manhattan. It worships three languages—Mandarin, Spanish, and English—and is a mixture of young professionals and their families, and first-generation immigrants mostly from China and Latin America. Salguero and his wife Jeanette, both 39, co-pastor Lamb’s Church and preach their sermons together. Salguero is also the president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition.
It’s not lost on us that Watertown and Boston were shutdown this weekend because of acts of violence and terrorism. Families and friends are still grieving over loss of life and limb. We mourn with them and pray their comfort. Moreover, we are profoundly cognizant that all over the world people are calling for repairing the planet as they celebrate Earth day and creation care on Monday. Add to this that major gun-control legislation was defeated in the last few days and many people can feel under siege. Our question as people of comfort, faith, and hope is, “What does the Gospel have to say to all of this?
The Creation story reminds us that even from the inception of creation and humanity God and creation had to deal with tohu wabohus—the Hebrew term in the Biblical creation story that means void, darkness, and chaos. What can we do when things feel empty, chaotic, and depressive? When our hearts are overwhelmed with grief, loss, and despair? When we feel the battle to save lives, creation, and society go the way of void and nihilism? Scripture, that great book of hope and comfort, reminds us of the presence of God’s Spirit hovering and sustaining even in our darkness. Ah yes, that same Spirit that creates, re-creates, and re-orders.
We are a community of the Spirit, called to speak light into chaos, peace into violence, sustainability into environmental degradation. God is still speaking light through us. What does this light look like? Saying yes to creation care and no to the toxins that threaten our planet and shared life. Saying yes to peace-making and no to violence. Saying yes to the Prince of Peace and no to the false gods of pollution, bombs, xenophobia, and hatred. We are God’s people and we still think that God and his people can speak light into the abyss of the things that often besiege us. We need not sit idly by and fear the darkness. We are God’s people we can and must and speak light, hope, and love into all the tohu wabohus of our life together. If not us, who? If not now, when?