Well, you may have seen on the news recently that the Christian Reformed Church in America just a few weeks ago at their national Synod, voted to continue to classify gay people as sinful and immoral, and therefore intolerant in their churches. That's the word they used – intolerant – which means that LGBTQ people will not be tolerated or welcome in their churches. Now, I know that it seems crazy that here we are in 2022, and there there are still Christian denominations, not just the CRC, but many, that are still deciding and debating and discussing whether or not gay people are allowed to be a welcome in their churches.
Well, as I mentioned at the top of the service today, we are celebrating Juneteenth here in the United States. It is the day that we celebrate the emancipation of enslaved black Americans on June 19, 1865. Now, although President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, two and a half years earlier, in 1863, that news was kept from 1000s of enslaved black Americans in the South, in states that were still under Confederate control. In fact, places like Texas refuse to even acknowledge the Emancipation Proclamation.
Well, last Sunday, we all wore red in celebration of Pentecost Sunday. And every year on the Sunday after Pentecost Sunday, the Christian Church celebrates what's known as Trinity Sunday. So this morning, Christian churches all over the world are putting their focus on the very same thing: the Trinity God as three persons. Now that can be very confusing for us, because most of us who grew up in the church were taught there was just one God. So how could God be three?
Well today on the Christian church calendar, we are celebrating what's known as Ascension Sunday. We are celebrating Jesus's ascension into heaven. This is the very last week of the season of Easter. And the readings that we read from this morning are actually from this past Thursday's lectionary for the Ascension. The Ascension is always celebrated 40 days after Easter Sunday, so it always falls on a Thursday.