No Religion is an Island
Sermon by Stephanie Gannon, Summer Minister.
A little over 50 years ago, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel gave his famous talk "No Religion is an Island" at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Still highly relevant today, it was a plea for religious groups to come together across their theological divides to join forces in the cause of justice. Rabbi Heschel was a great model for this kind of interfaith work, having marched side by side with Martin Luther King, Jr. at Selma and been one of the leading voices in the Civil Rights Movement.
If you're like me, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all of the heartbreaking news this week. How to respond? How to respond religiously? Heschel comes directly out of the great tradition of the Hebrew prophets and Psalms, and one of the most-quoted lines from his writings is, "A person cannot be religious and indifferent to other human beings' plight and suffering." Rather than calling you to action, I hope in this week's sermon to invite you into that place of deep sorrow and lament, but also of anger, found in the book of Lamentations. Building bridges between our divisions requires first that we move from a place of compassion and love. As we worship together this week, let us express our tears for this broken world of ours.