Today’s Word from Pastor Jim… 

“I am the way, the truth and the life.” Jesus

Wherever we find truth we have found a revelation of God. If that “truth” is found in science, it is of no threat to us. If that “truth” is found in philosophy or some other religious tradition or practice, it is in no way a threat to us. There is no truth apart from God. The truth may not always be comforting or pleasant, but to quote Jesus; “the truth will set you free.”

In Congress, July 4, 1776

“The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America….. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It occurs to me that self-evident truths do not need to be spoken or written. They are, after all, by definition, self-evident. Self-evident truths do not need a day in court, they have no need to be proven. Self-evident truths are not to be debated or voted on. Truth is not dependent upon public opinion. Something is either true or it is not. Self-evident truths do not need to be spoken or written, and yet our founding fathers thought it prudent to include self-evident truths in our Declaration of Independence.

The inclusion of these words bears witness to a broken human history and the flawed nature of the fledgling American experiment. Certainly, our founding father’s own life experience had taught them that this truth was not self-evident at all. How could this truth be self-evident in a nation where 1/5th of the population was enslaved, where 1/3rd of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were themselves slave owners?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” 248 years later, slavery is universally condemned. Civilized people from every nation recognize the evils of this immoral and illegal institution. The civil rights movement and the suffrage movement have changed our country. Women now own property, they have the right to vote, and they hold public office. Progress has been made. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Having said that, the “self-evident truth” that all men and women are created equal, is clearly not self-evident to a large portion of our population. 248 years later, the words written in the Declaration of Independence still need to be spoken and taught. If we are to be on the right side of history, we must stand against racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and any movement that attempts to persecute minorities or restrict the “unalienable rights” of our neighbors.

The dream of our founding fathers continues to unfold. May the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty remind us from whence we come and lead us forward to a more loving and just future.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Emma Lazarus

For 248 years we have been tested, today we are tested still. May God light our pathway, may love go forward from our church, may the truth one day be self-evident that we may be set free.

One beggar, telling another beggar where to find bread, I am your

Pastor Jim

Contact Pastor Jim if you have questions at [email protected]