I invite you to open yourselves to the power and presence of the Holy One, as we respond to the issues of HIV/AIDS.
Will you work to empower the people around you, like Mary, to live free of the stigma of society and live fully into the possibility of a life impregnated with the presence of God? If so, say, “We will.”
Will you, carrying a vision of God’s possibilities, work to break down the stigmas that leave those living with HIV/AIDS hanging on the fringes of society? If so, say, “We will.”
Will you work to create communities of hope in which all people are welcomed into God’s presence? If so, say, “We will.”
Will you seek to create a new world order in which issues of self-esteem, societal position, age, gender, and sexual expression do not relegate one to the probability of infection with HIV? If so, say, “We will.”
Let me assure you: the lives we have honored this morning are sacred; the stories we have shared are sacred; the commitments we just made are sacred. Therefore, do not be limited by the probabilities of death. Rather, go forth to help those impacted by HIV/AIDS claim the possibilities of a life spent believing that there “will be a fulfillment of what was spoken by the Lord.”
Go in peace… go in power… go!
For the World AIDS Day Chapel Service at Phillips Theological Seminary on November 29, 2012