Highland Baptist: Shining Like the Sun by Troy Burden

Incoming deacon Troy Burden shared these words with the deacon body last night in our first meeting of the year, and they were so meaningful to us that we wanted to share them with the rest of the Highland family:

“Good evening everyone. I’m Troy Burden and I’m so honored to be joining you again on the Deacon body of Highland Baptist Church.

“Take a moment and turn on your video if you don’t have it already. Now take a moment and look at all the faces on your screens. Scroll through and look at the lovely faces of your fellow deacons.

“During this season of Exodus – well at least an Exodus from our familiar church building, may we still come together in the ways we have available, and look to one another. Admittedly, one of the reasons I was excited to join the deacon body again was because I’d have an opportunity to see you all, at least on a Zoom meeting. There are so many of you that I haven’t seen ages.

“Like many of you, I know and love the famous quote from Thomas Merton about Louisville. I have it hanging in my office here at Highlands Community Ministries. It is a powerful quote and message about our connectivity to the whole human race and to God. But tonight, I hope you will give me a fair bit of liberty modifying/paraphrasing it:

“In Louisville, Kentucky, at the corner of Grinstead Drive and Cherokee Road, in the center of the interurban Highlands, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I love all of these people, that they are mine and I am theirs; that we could not be alien to one another, even though we are each so different. …because we have the immense joy of being human, a member of the race which God herself became incarnate. Even still, even though unable to gather, we are all still walking around Shining Like the Sun.

“So tonight, it is my prayer, and our challenge that we, during this difficult time, remember to let our Sun shine brightly…that our faces become the face of God for others: for each other, our congregation, our ministers and staff, our city, and the communities in which we live.

“Highland Baptist is a very special place; a bold progressive Christian voice in our hurting city. A place that values all of Gods creation, all those children of God that are hurting, suffering from injustice.

“Having recently read another, but more contemporary Christian author, and our beloved church member Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, in his book Just Faith, it has further strengthened my love for the work of Highland Baptist. He says ‘the greatest hope for our lives is that they may be a blessing to others and in that way always be guided by the radical spirit of the resurrection. May our confidence for a world where everyone has everything they need to live abundantly always be rooted in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, who continues to guide us.’

“Fellow Deacons… may our lights so shine, each of us, together and individually. May we shine like the Sun. Amen.”