Evidence that God does not give up on us

In the mystery of the Resurrection we have the startling assertion that, despite the worst we can do, God does not give up on this world, God does not give up on humanity, God does not give up on you, or me, or anyone.

What I want to do this Easter morning is to invite you to reflect on this question: Where do you find evidence of resurrection in our midst, evidence that God does not give up on us?

God does not give up on the world.

Neither does God give up on humanity.

Poignant evidence of this came for me recently from an event I was able to attend a month or so ago, with an organization called Roots. This is an organization jointly run by Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. They’ve created one of the few community spaces where Israelis and Palestinians can come together to simply get to know each other and share life.

They’ve developed a practice of listening to each other speak about their lives in a way that’s not about debate or even dialogue, but simply listening. By giving each other space and time to share about their lives, and simply listening to each other, they have learned to witness the humanity of someone whose experiences and perspectives may be very challenging to one’s own understanding of the world. These folks at this event shared their own stories about how having the courage to listen to someone one has considered one’s enemy has challenged their hearts to grow so that, as they like to say, “Two truths can live in one heart, so that two peoples can live in one land.”

Now, their work is very hard in any time, and it is extremely hard right now, of course. But these folks from Roots expressed a tenacious hope that if they keep at it, and keep at it, the time will come when a future generation of peacemakers will have the opportunity to make their shared homeland a peaceful and just place for all.

I left the event with a humbling sense that God is always at work, seeding peacemakers among every generation of every population, whether we are aware of it or not.

These resurrection workers participate with Christ in showing that God does not give up on humanity, despite the horrors we can inflict on each other or the scars evil leaves behind.

For this I say “Halleluiah!” It may be a broken, but it is a holy “Halleluiah!”

God does not give up on humanity.

Neither does God give up on you, or on me.

Read the full sermon here.

Delivered Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024, by Rev. Nathaniel Mahlberg at the United Church of Christ at Valley Forge.