Eyes on the marginalized

In how I go forward in a politically divisive age, I continue to formulate my thoughts around the WHY and the WHO.

I listen regularly to Pass the Mic podcast because it comes from two young black Christian men. One is a historian. The other is a pastor. They bring perspective that challenges me and makes me think, especially when I disagree with them.

But this podcast summarizes well (not perfectly) how I am working on my voting process this year. I will not summarize nor will I answer questions asking me to summarize. You need to listen to their voices. I’m tired of summarizing. I need to listen more… as do each of us.

The immorality of our nation

“Millions of Americans are coming to see that we are fighting an immoral war that costs nearly thirty billion dollars a year, that we are perpetuating racism, that we are tolerating almost forty million poor during an overflowing of material abundance. Yet they remain helpless to end the war, to feed the hungry, to make brotherhood a reality; this has to shake our faith in ourselves. If we look honestly at the realities of our national life, it is clear that we are not marching forward; we are groping and stumbling; we are divided and confused. Our moral values and our spiritual confidence sink, even as our material wealth ascends. In these trying circumstances, the black revolution is much more than a struggle for the rights of Negroes. It is forcing America to face all its interrelated flaws — racism, poverty, militarism and materialism. It is exposing evils that are rooted deeply in the whole structure of our society. It reveals systemic rather than superficial flaws and suggests that radical reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be face.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. “A Testament of Hope” (published posthumously)

The simplicity (and complexity) of the Kingdom of God

This concept can’t be avoided in Scripture (though we do a good job of trying). The gospel, the Kingdom, is this simple (and yet, this difficult):

“How long will you defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Ps. 82:2-4)

Too often we have v. 2 down cold in our lives and practice. It is verses 3-4 we too often find ourselves failing.

The simplicity of the Kingdom of God is to keep our hearts and eyes and actions toward the marginalized. This is our great difficulty. We fail too often.

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Dr. King and our continual call

I will continually go back to “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” on this weekend. Every time I draw something new from his challenge to folks like me… white moderates. I hear his rebuke to me more clearly each time.

I will continually draw from Dr. King throughout the year. This is a lesson I’ve established in these past few years, especially since moving to Alabama. His works and books on his life’s work are ever in front of me.

Continue reading “Dr. King and our continual call”

The work we still need to do

In reading the book The End of Hunger, there was the good news combined with the challenge. The good news was that a massive amount of work has been accomplished in the past 25 years. Severe hunger is being reduced statistically. The bad news is that the last bit to go to eliminate the issue by 2030 is still costly. We can’t let up. We have to stay focused and work harder. It is easier to cut a problem in half than to eliminate it.

I thought of this as I sat in a historic black Episcopal Church in Montgomery, Alabama this week. The subject wasn’t hunger. The subject was historic and systemic racism. The subject was justice.

Continue reading “The work we still need to do”