top of page

Reformation - John 8:31-36

When about 3,000 Americans died on 9-11, we said, "Never forget."

When about 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust, not to mention countless others,

surviving voices begged the world, "Never forget."

We have to keep saying "Never forget" because we always do.

Imagine the look on the rabbi's face when his Jewish brothers and sisters say to him, "We

are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone."

How do you say that after celebrating Passover every year?

How do you say that while watching Rome manhandle your nation?

How is it that we can so quickly and so completely forget?

But Jesus doesn't reach back into history.

Jesus reaches deep into the present moment.

Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin, he says, using their strong language that

makes those of us who remember squirm.

This year is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in North

America, a grim milestone of injustice and institutionalized inhumanity that

continues to be a stage four cancer in our national body.

It would be more pleasant and convenient to forget, but it would also be dishonest.

Jesus invites us on the different, harder road named remember.

Continue in my word, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

"But we're already free," we protest, just like the ones standing around Jesus did.

"We Americans have never been slaves to anyone."

Not true: many generations of Americans were slaves.

"But that was a long time ago.

"We don't identify ourselves with our dead ancestors; we're a culture of individuals and of right now.