From Rev. Ara Guekguezian
For the next six Sundays, the theme of the proclamation (the sermon) will be all about the relationship. We will hear from the Gospels, the Torah, the Prophets, and the Poets. The theme runs through our sacred text from the beginning to the end. It is a powerful stream and oft neglected as we focus on the rules: ‘What must I do to get to heaven?’
Sunday, January 28th, shook me up and strengthened my resolve in focusing on the Bible’s guidance on creating and sustaining healthy relationships. I usually don’t watch the Grammys, but I needed to see Kesha perform. For she is one who has suffered from the abuse of power in her life, both personal and professional. Although born in LA, she is not Hollywood. Hollywood has its own very serious issues in sustaining healthy relationships, as does the church. But a song, music, has a power unlike any other form of expression.
I don’t cry when I watch television, even on the big TV in my cave. As I have gotten older I do cry on occasion at the movies, as I am drawn into the world within the big screen. On Sunday night, I was sobbing as I watched Kesha sing. I am not a big fan of hers or of her genre. But I know her story under the thumb of Dr. Luke. It reflects the story of so many artists and their management team. Kesha was spitting out the words of ‘Praying’ with such ferocity. It was beautiful and powerful. It was built on the core of pain, abuse, and brokenness. I thank God for her strength and intelligence and her spirit. It moved me to feel the shame of being part of a world that tolerates such appalling action from one human to another. How often the contract allows for abuse, because the differential in the power dynamic is unaccounted when the terms are applied.
I am grateful that we are a nation of laws. But I am more grateful that because of the stability the nation of laws provides, I can live fully as a human being, seeking out relationship and working tirelessly to keep them healthy. And upon the inevitable failure of health to seek and grant forgiveness, as a child of the most gracious God and a disciple of Christ.
I hope and pray that we will be as encouraged and as challenged as I have been in hearing God’s word to me, and over the next six Sundays to us. If not, listen to Kesha sing ‘Praying’ at the Grammys on YouTube. Then do all that you are able to never inspire anyone to express themselves that way again. Again, I thank God for Kesha, for I experienced the sadness, the brokenness, the pain, vicariously.
Peace, not as the world gives,
but of Christ be with you,