Isaiah 40:25-31 // Philippians 4:4-9 // John 1: 1-18

“They will soar on wings like Eagles they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40: 31). Today is Father's Day and also National Indigenous Sunday. We think of the eagle as being central to First Nations Spirituality. Historically, Christians felt that any Spirituality that was not Christian was inferior to Christianity. There are lots of reasons for this thinking but in this 21st century our thinking is changing, especially within the Progressive Emergent Church of which we are apart.  Sadly, this thinking of superiority has not helped us in the long run and caused us to take many actions that denied the love of God.   Jesus came so that we would have a better understanding of God around us and within us. As it says in John's gospel from today in verse 9, “the true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” Jesus is the true light and enlightens all to the universality and totality Of God. We have come to know in this century that God loves all of God's creation and that all approaches to God that are sincere are received and cherished by God. 2500 years ago, people felt that God only loved them in their own territory. It was unique for Jewish people to have a belief in only one God. We have grown in that understanding as they grew in their understanding. Our understanding today is that there is one God but many Spiritual  pathways and all are beautiful and valid.   It takes courage for us to stand up and to embrace diversity, to embrace change, and to stand against the crowd of our local culture. This is true not Justin faith circles but, in all circles, including business where we find ourselves. All the emerging cultural, social and scientific issues of our own time fall into this category of standing up against the received culture. We need to embrace what's coming ahead. Culture is powerful! I remember being caused by the need to fit in and buying “White Buck Shoes” when I was a kid even though I knew better. It caused me no end of problems. The church has found out that going along with the cultural crowd of the 1800s and building residential schools and discriminating against First Nations people have caused us no end of problems here in the 21st century. We made a mistake and now we must reconcile from our past the mistakes. This truth we note today, on this National Indigenous Sunday, I call upon us to embrace the diversity of faith , the diversity of expression and to put aside our racist impulses and to love one another as Jesus called us to love. To do less than this is to deny our Christian faith and heritage.