Saturday, February 20
Luke 13:34-35, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, left, accompanied by the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, march outside the US Capitol during a Poor People's Campaign rally in June 2018. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana)
This is not God’s will; it is Jesus lament. Antiracism is not a program or one more training. Antiracism is a clarion call to prophetic ministry, a reminder that the apparatuses of systemic racism were set in place on our watch. Change will not result from acquiring a new set of videos, books, trainings, or songs – it will arise when we engage in fearless ministry as prophetic preachers, teachers, and leaders. The moment is now, there is hope, but there’s little time.
“Another sign of hope is the Reverend William J. Barber II, the most Martin Luther King–like figure in our time. His Moral Monday movement and now the Poor People’s Campaign is, alongside people such as Father Michael Pfleger and his great ministry at St. Sabina Church in Chicago, the Reverend Katie M. Ladd at Queen Anne United Methodist Church in Seattle, and the Reverend Michael Mc-Bride at the Way Christian Center in Berkeley, California, the last hope for prophetic Christianity in America.” Race Matters: 25th Anniversary Addition, by Cornel West
Action step: today, with brutal honesty identify fears that may hinder your taking up the biblical authority to preach, teach, or lead prophetically. We all have fears in ministry, are there members of your church whose opposition to antiracism inhibit you? Let God speak to you in prayer that your fears or concerns might melt before the flame of truth.
Prayer: Prayer for Humankind
God of all humanity,
You call us to bring about healing and wholeness for the whole world –
for women and men of all races and cultures and creeds.
Help us to respond to a world that is groaning under the weight of injustice
and broken relationships.
Remind us that differences are a gift,
and interdependence a strength from the same creative God.
Strengthen us to resist the forces that encourage polarization and competition
rather than understanding and cooperation.
We know that your reign is not built on injustice and oppression,
but on the transformation of hearts –
new life, not just reordered life.
Teach us forgiveness, O God.
Bring us reconciliation.
Give us hope for the future.
We pray in Jesus’ love.
Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook, from Race and Prayer: Collected Voices Many Dreams edited by Malcolm Boyd and Chester L. Talton (Morehouse Publishing, 2003, p.76).