ICYMI: Senator Warnock Preaches for Juneteenth
We were honored to have Sen. Raphael Warnock, the junior senator from Georgia, as our guest preacher for Juneteenth Sunday.
When he’s not on Capitol Hill, Warnock is the senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, a pulpit once occupied by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It was a barn-burner of a sermon:
In the book of the prophet Isaiah chapter 40, God speaks a word of hope to a broken people, of people physically and politically exiled spiritually and emotionally exhausted. It’s such a tough time that God tells the prophet, “Comfort my people, speak tenderly to my people.”
And then he talks about a voice crying in the wilderness. “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
And then he offers up these words, words so beautiful, words so sublime that they cut right through the political noise and the nonsense of the day. He offers the kinds of words that prophets and poets provide. I love them and I lift them up on this Juneteenth weekend.
Isaiah chapter 40, verse three. “Every valley shall be exalted. And every mountain and hill brought low. The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth. The glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
I submit that that is God’s vision for the land. Every valley shall be exalted. Mountains and hills made low. The crooked places shall be made straight. The rough places smooth. The glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
It is a kind of moral topography. Amen. A justice-centered geography. You got it? God’s great vision for the land. And so I submit to you that, that in God’s vision for the land, first of all, valleys are exalted and mountains and hills are made low.
In other words, in God’s vision for the land, there is equity. There is equity because the high become low and the low become high. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. If, if valleys are exalted and mountains are healed and hills are made low, there is a kind of leveling of the playing field and we can get some equity in the land.