Fantastic sermon from Ray Suarez

When I heard that Ray Suarez was to preach at General Convention, I was puzzled. NPR, sure. But preacher?! My doubts were unfounded. A member of St. Columba’s in Washington, DC, Mr. Suarez preached a fantastic sermon yesterday at daily Eucharist. Here’s a snippet:

There are people lampoon us, wish us ill, use us as a punchline for lame jokes based on some very old stereotypes, and frankly, from material that wasn’t all that funny to begin with. But at least those old jokes, poking fun at imaginary church of WASP matrons, using ‘summer’ as a verb, country clubs, white shoe law firms, and pedigree – those old jokes had some measure of affection in them. These days the jokes contain more derision, condescension, and harsh judgment born of ignorance. Recently I was reading the religion blog in the Washington Post and one essayist, John Mark Reynolds, wrote: Do you know what you get when you cross an Episcopalian with a Southern Baptist? I didn’t know, so I kept on reading. You get someone who comes to your door and rings your bell, but once you open it has no idea what to say.

No idea what to say? Really?

I could swear I was in church at 7 am on Ash Wednesday morning, heard our challenging lectionary, was called out, forced to confront myself by a strong sermon, and then called to be holy by our penitential rite. I thought we had a lot to say, and when I picked my head up to look around there was a big crowd of witnesses sharing that sobering moment with me.

Now go read the whole thing.

Image from Episcopal News Service, where you can also find a news article about the sermon.

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