Show us your credentials

Show us your credentials

Throughout the Lenten season, our staff at The Village Nashville have been sharing reflections to accompany the day’s readings. This is for tomorrow, Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

 
“This is the way it is with you. God’s kingdom will be taken back from you and handed over to a people who will live out a kingdom life. Whoever stumbles on this Stone gets shattered; whoever the Stone falls on gets smashed.” – Matthew 21:43-33
 
We are a fact-checking, I-need-to-see-your-credentials type of society. We want to see degrees, training certificates, pedigree, or the claim doesn’t hold authority. Today’s passage reminds me of some current events in our city.
 
There’s this micro home village that’s being built on the grounds of Glencliff United Methodist Church, through a non-profit, interfaith organization called Open Table Nashville. The village has been in the works for some time, but has recently come to the attention of neighbors of the church, who have said: Not in my backyard. Those in opposition have confronted church members while at the grocery store, have put up signs saying “No Tiny Home”, have picketed the church during worship, have questioned the credentials and leadership of the congregation and the staff of Open Table Nashville.
 
Amidst this, the staff and congregation have continued to persist, as the call to serve the city’s most vulnerable by providing dignified, loving, and hospitable bridge housing community for those experiencing homelessness, has been louder than the voices of naysayers.
 
The Village Nashville is partnering with Open Table Nashville–our entire Christmas offering was enough to cover 2 homes in the Glencliff Village they are building. As we support this endeavor in the coming months and years, we may be asked to show our credentials. We may be asked: With what authority we are doing this? How will we respond?
 
Prayer: God of the marginalized and dispossessed who calls us each day to follow, speak to us in new ways, so that we may hear again what you call us to daily: to love and serve you and our neighbors. Give us the courage to say yes to you, knowing you are with us always. Amen.