During worship last Sunday, our guitarist Dave spoke up to share where he’d seen God working in his life this past week: surprisingly, on CNN.com. When he’d pulled up the website Friday afternoon, he noted that instead of the usual violence and ugliness, the top three featured stories were hopeful. They were about the legalization of same-sex marriage, the protection of universal healthcare, and government buildings taking down of Confederate flags throughout the South.
God fights for justice and for love. Jesus spent much of his time on earth healing people. The Holy Spirit binds us together in love and equality, and opposes hate and inequity. Surely, Dave’s right. God is working through the Supreme Court decisions and through the state workers pulling down icons of racist nostalgia and ideology.
Yet, the road stretches on, long and difficult, as we work alongside God on these Kingdom building projects. The violent events in Charleston at Emanuel AME Church that precipitated the taking down of Confederate flags, while particularly horrific, do not stand alone. In fact, these events have been followed by a string of arsons at predominately African American churches in the South.
Similarly, the fight for LGBTQIA rights is not over. In the state of Michigan, a person can still be fired from their job on the basis of the gender identity or sexual orientation. And, as many of us well know, even with universal healthcare, the cost of taking care of our bodies and minds is far from affordable for far too many people.
We need to celebrate the victories, noting that our congregation has worked alongside God and others in these fights. Journey of Faith (Memorial Christian Church) has long stood against racism and against homophobia. Over the years, we have marched and prayed and volunteered and shared our own testimonies, each little action moving the greater community toward justice. God’s Kingdom appears in glimpses even while we wait for it’s eternal fulfillment. In that way, we should count the events of the last week of June as blessings. They have shown us that change for the better does happen and that we can be a part of it.
“Holy God, May you give us hope. May you inspire us to keep on working. ”