- Cathy Sweeney
5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry “Peace” when they have something to eat, but declare war against those who put nothing into their mouths. 6 Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without revelation. The sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them; 7 the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God. 8 But as for me, I am filled with power, with the spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.
On Wednesday morning I poured my first cup of coffee and sat down to read my morning devotion. Our dog, Gromit, laid down with his usual ‘huff,’ knowing that his morning meal would wait a bit longer.
Truth be told, I was feeling a bit anxious about the day – a big day in the liturgical year: Ash Wednesday. It’s a day of repentance, when Christians worldwide come face-to-face with mortality, the first day of Lent. I was prepared to address that anxiety in my journal writing that morning, and in my readings, one word resonated.
See, on that morning, I was confronted and comforted by God that I would be called that day to proclaim to others that, even in the midst of their own humanity, as messy as it can be, we are each “Enough” for God. God knows every hair on our head, and has written our name in the palm of his hand – even in the messiness, we are enough.
And as my pen flowed, I could hear God calling, with instruction for the day:
Trust me enough.
I am enough.
Enough for all you ever need to be at peace in this world.
Having heard God’s call for the day, I set down my pen, closed my journal and my bible, fed the dog, and prepared for the day ahead. I was prepared to proclaim the Word, in whatever ways I was presented on that day.
Then a different word came, this time through news reports.
Once again, a shooting at a school, this time in Florida. In a little over 5 minutes, 17 persons killed and many more injured. Emotion in my neighborhood was already on edge. Just the day before, we had memorialized Officer David Sherrard, a victim of a shooting the week before.
I was raw, and I was angry. I’m still angry. And again, in a new way this time, I hear the word:
I am confident that many of us heard that word shouted in our heads and piercing in our hearts: ENOUGH! Enough of the violence and hate and divisiveness. Enough of the fighting and the guns and the arrogance and self-trumpeting leadership that that pulls God’s people apart, and refuses to see the real problems of those who are hurting in our world.
But no, the news cycle wasn’t finished, and information pops up so very quickly these days.
And I say that because yesterday, the leader of a white supremacist group in Florida made claims that the shooter was a member of their group. Taking responsibility for the tragedy, even in the midst of mourning, and trying hard to divide an already raw community and country.
Whether that claim of the shooter’s participation is correct or not is contested now – Florida officers are stating that there is no known activity or connection between this shooter and the hateful and bigoted group. Yet, because of the shooting, the group felt emboldened and empowered “enough” to push their claims of superiority and purity, instigating even more division into this tragedy.
But I cry a different: Enough!
Enough of the bitterness, and divisiveness, and creating your own set of facts.
Because, my friends, just as we are enough to God, we are also enough to make a difference.
That’s why the cry of “Enough” needs to come from our very gut and yelled out from every square inch of our cities: Enough!
Friends, I pray today that Micah be an example to us. Micah not only shared the words of the Lord when he cried out that those who cry “peace,” who sit in comfortable surroundings, who are willing to look the other way and not address the true needs of our community – Micah knew to call those leaders and people out in their shame.
But hear what Micah shares for those of us who cry, “Enough!”:
” 8 But as for me, I am filled with power, with the spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.”
Brothers and Sisters, on this day, know that together, we are enough. Our voices, as we gather them together to demand justice for all of God’s creation – we are enough.
As we condemn the violence in the world, that we are enough.
As we encourage each other and others to make their voices heard, we are enough.
As we walk together to put an end to the hate and bitterness that divides our nations, races, and creeds, we are enough.
We are enough, because together, and like Micah, we carry power; we carry the spirit of the Lord, with justice and with might.
We are enough.
Our work IS enough to bring the change that is needed. The reconciliation among the races that is needed. The call for reasonable gun control that is needed. The call to end the words of hate that is needed. The call to the people that God needs.
Our work is enough to respond to the call of God to spread His power, glory, and justice throughout the land.
May you know that it is so; and may your actions today and this next week declare that together, we are enough.