Hearing the Promise

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April 17, 2016. In her sermon today, Pastor Penny plays a clip from StoryCorps on NPR, an interview with Francois Clemmons about appearing as a police officer on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In the interview, Clemmons recalls how meaningful Fred Rogers’ offer of friendship was for him, once he was able to hear it. It can be hard for us to listen to difficult things. But this fear can also prevent us from hearing God’s promise of love.

*** [Keywords: Asher Francois Clemmons Fred Rogers GPS God favored people God’s promise of love God’s voice clearly Great Sanhedrin I am your good shepherd I have told you I might lose face I will protect you I’ve lost everything Jesus enemies Jesus supporters Jew MPS Middlebury Vermont Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Mr. Rogers NPR Officer Clemmons Pastor Penny Holste Pharisees Portico of Solomon StoryCorps Torah achieve afraid going to lose something afraid of being hurt are you the Messiah big decisions big pillars born brown skin bullied burning candle at both ends carrying burdens chamber cold winter air conquered death conscience date young woman dealing with destroying culture destroying their tradition device didn’t listen died doctor’s office dogs don’t get lost down driving dry feet every day first African American actor follow me friend for life friends get rid of that man ghetto global positioning system gold embellished temple good for nothing good shepherd greatest thing I have guidance hangs up sweater hard time hard time listening have another child hear a voice heard me today icon important times in lives interview isolated job market joined the cast just the way you are listen to me lived long marble halls lose edge lose my position losing our edge love of child manuscript map marry man meaningful experiences memorizing every snippet of tradition might lose friendship money moral positioning system most precious possession I own no one not my sheep nothing opera singer ornate box plastic pool police officers policeman policemen positive influence power of fear purity laws putting myself in role rabbi rabble rouser racism real world neighborhood religious leaders rest my feet robe role in kids TV series rose for us rule on concerns scary scene sing in church slow snatch you out of my hands sneakers son or daughter speak up against injustice special day strained relationship synagogue school take that job talking to you for years taunting Jesus teacher of the law teaching people team temple touched me troublemaker from Galilee trust of coworkers water hoses we don’t hear promises when we are afraid words of friendship work worst of our fears would we listen wouldn’t listen]