Sermon: Imprisoned by Hope

joannaBy Joanna Shenk, First Mennonite Church of San Francisco

Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Zechariah 9:9-12

I had a hard time getting out of bed yesterday morning. I was feeling the weight of a lot of things and wondered if it was futile and disingenuous to write a sermon that offered hope. I wasn’t feeling hopeful. I was feeling more like the title to the most recent Metallica album, “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct.” The bad guys keep winning. Vulnerable people are endlessly oppressed. And it seems like so many people don’t even have a moral consciousness to appeal to. 

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Vision in Action at First Mennonite

Mennonite Vision in ActionA Vision in Action story given by Sarah Matsui at First Mennonite.

After the sermon or music is concluded, the Worship Leader and Vision in Action storyteller go to the podium. The Worship Leader introduces the Vision in Action: In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus invites us to pray: “God, may your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” In our monthly Vision in Action, we hear stories about how people in our community live this prayer – how they shift, reform, transform, revolutionize, and nudge the world so it becomes more fully the realm of God. Today, Sarah Matsui will share her story with us as we take our morning offering. Please pray with me: Creating God, may Sarah’s story open our imaginations to the many ways in which you partner with us to bring about your realm on earth. Receive these offerings, which are also a part of this great work. We rejoice in what we have been given, and in what is ours to give. Amen.

My first Sunday here at First Mennonite was Pride Sunday. When I can, I’ve been coming back every Sunday since. Continue reading