Out of silence, out of nothingness, out of brokenness, God speaks and acts. A prophet was raised up to speak the words of a God long thought to be perpetually silent. A Messiah born in a dirty manger and raised in a backwoods town. Out of these types of situations, God speaks and acts. But it often takes an invitation, in some form or another, for the goodness present in the world to shine brighter than the clouds and chaos, for the work of God to truly be seen. When I was in Rwanda this past summer, I went to the Genocide Museum, a living witness to one of the most tragic episodes in human history. I saw images I’ll never erase from my mind. I read the stories of victims, survivors, and perpetrators. But what I remember most is the story of a man who risked his own life to hide in his home some of the victims of the government sponsored genocide. When he was asked why he did it, he responded with a Jewish proverb: “When you save one life, it is as if you have saved the whole world.” In the midst of an unimaginable but nevertheless real chaos, this one man was able to counter the surrounding cloud of death with his acts of goodness, and he will forever inspire me to be a vessel of grace in whatever confusing or hurting circumstances I find myself in. He is someone of whom I will say, "Come and see."
*A sermon preached at St. Andrew's On-the-Sound Episcopal Church in Wilmington, NC on January 18, 2015. The texts were 1 Samuel 3:1-20, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. and John 1:43-51.
The title of the sermon is a reference to Fred Rogers, who spoke time and time again about what it means to look for the good in a brutal world: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."