We MUST, as white American Christians, lean in and listen

This article in Christianity Today demonstrates the wide disparity held between white and black American Christians regarding policing.

“Do police officers generally treat black and white Americans alike?

White evangelicals are more likely to say ‘yes’ than any other major religious demographic in the United States. Black Protestants are most likely to disagree.”

Even after a long string of black men and women killed by police, we’re still not listening. Let us give up our pride and our self-assuredness to take up a position to hear our black brothers and sisters.

Extensive Report Shows Perils of 'Driving While Black' in Nashville

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified you by their martyrdom:
Grant that your Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by your Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the
unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

June 29th Collect of the Day
St. Peter and St. Paul

A book worth your time

There has been a LOT of reading in this time of coronavirus. I was glad to be able to get an advance copy of Marlena Graves’ new book The Way Up is Down.

In this section she talks about the need for confession in our lives to deal with our sin and dwell humbly before the Lord. She makes the case for the return of the sacrament of confession in the Protestant Church:

“But the sacrament of confession involves confessing our sins to a representative of Christ’s church and receiving absolution. Confession is this traditional sense is of paramount importance. There is something mysteriously transformative in hearing the words of absolution: ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.'”

The Way Up Is Down: Becoming Yourself by Forgetting Yourself ...

We are called to work AND pray in the battle to overcome evil systems

I am working through one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Acts 19. It has always drawn me and what I love about the study of Scripture is that each trip through a passage can yield new insights and nuances. This trip through has been no different.

Continue reading “We are called to work AND pray in the battle to overcome evil systems”

The FOCUS of the disinherited

“… the child of the disinherited is like to live a heavy life. A ceiling is placed on his dreaming by the counsel of despair coming from his elders, whom experience has taught to expect little and to hope for less. If, on the other hand, the elders understand in their own experiences and lives the tremendous insight of Jesus, it is possible for them to share their enthusiasm with their children. This is the qualitative overtone springing from the depths of religious insight, and it is contagious. It will put into the hands of the child the key for unlocking the door of his hopes. It must never be forgotten that human beings can be conditioned in favor of the positive as well as the negative.” (Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited)

Fear and intimidation in the oppressor

Howard Thurman’s book Jesus and the Disinherited, published in 1949, is still a prophetic voice into our current world. It is time for change.

Thurman walks through the fear that keeps the oppressed “in their place.” Fear of violent action causes the oppressed to fall into an “unremitting status of inferiority.”

But Thurman also demonstrates how fear works in the lives of the oppressors:

“This fear insulates the conscience against a sense of wrongdoing in carrying out a policy of segregation. (NOTE: Now think of this in terms of our current disastrous immigration policies.) For it counsels that if there were no segregation, there would be no protection against invasion of the home, the church, the school. (Also think of the knee jerk reaction to the phrase: “Defund the Police”.) This fear perpetrates the Jewish ghettos in Western civilization, the restrictive covenants in California and other states, the Chinatowns, the Little Tokyos, and the Street of the Untouchables in Hindu lands.

Those in power and privilege fear losing that power and privilege and it drives policy, ordinances, laws, and actions. You have to stay in power so you create an enemy.

I confess. I cry a lot of tears walking through this little book.

About Howard Thurman ยป The Howard Thurman Papers Project | Boston ...
Howard Thurman