When the Earth Melts (Stephanie Gehring)

Title: When the earth melts
Author: Stephanie Gehring
For Christ the King Sunday

There are many days when I do not know how to begin believing. Today is a day like that; what does it mean that Christ is king?

This is not a sermon to victims; I do not have words yet for that. Forgive me my silence.

It is a sermon, instead, to the guilty.

And what do I have to say to you, who have been accused of much you did not do, whose acts of courage and self-sacrifice have gone unnoticed?

…to you, who have done evil no one knows about, or who have done evil someone does know about.

…to you, who have been exhausted beyond all exhaustion, who are playing the role of soldier in order to get back home, who have been faithful and faithless and who are sometimes sure and sometimes lost, who have been broken and have broken others.

…to you, whose name I do not know: Your life is so different than mine and so much the same. Do I even need to say that I am guilty with you?

You’ve seen too much, and as I begin to hear news of what you may have done, I am exhausted with confusion. So I will keep this short. Let us come together before the throne of Christ our King, and learn what his reign is like as we kneel. We kneel together, for Christ has said that the desire to harm and destroy makes me as guilty as harming and destroying.

In the moments when the curtains tear from floor to ceiling and we see past our own lies and fears and shame, let us not turn away. Let us not stitch the curtain back together and go on as we did before. Let us look deeply at one another and ask, as we stand face to face: Have you been faithful to what you know is true? faithful to what you have seen?

Tell me, what do you know is true? and what have you seen? Or should I not ask? I don’t know whether I can bear what you have seen.

When the earth changes and the waters roar and the mountains tremble and fall, in us and around us, and everything is hopeless — just before we give up hope, let us try to believe that there is a refuge that does not fail.

Let us call out when we are at the end of strength, when we are overwhelmed with confusion and despair–let us call out as we kneel together at the throne of Christ our King, and let us wait for an answer.


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