The Hard Knocks of Injustice
A lot of people are suffering hard knocks right now. The misery and despair of refugee families turned away from U.S. borders, after years of vetting, is beyond description. Foreign nationals in our own congregation are afraid to leave the U.S., for fear they cannot return.
Those of us who are still “safe” face a different kind of challenge: how will we stand up for justice actively, persistently, in our own country? What risks are we willing to take? What price would we pay? What does the Lord require…?
A bedrock truth of Christianity is that we are all one body – when one suffers, we all suffer. Martin Luther King said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Our country depends for its integrity on us to cry out against injustice, not just against ourselves, but against any and all who suffer. Now is such a time.
Dr. King also left us with these words: "There comes a time when silence is betrayal." Many times, Americans have stood silent in the face of injustice: our enslavement of African-Americans, our internment of Japanese citizens, our blindness to Nazi genocide. Now, we have a religious test on persons allowed into our country, and a ban on many refugees. How shall we respond?
The U.S. Holocaust Museum stands in our city as a somber reminder of what happens when we stand by as injustice reigns. This poem at the Museum, by Niemoller, reminds us:
Celebrating Black History Month –
This month, St. Dunstan’s will sing the “We shall overcome” tune as the Memorial Acclamation in the Eucharistic Prayer at 10:45 a.m. This reminds us that Jesus died to overcome the power of sin and death, and his resurrection is to bring to life a new Kingdom of God. He is here, now, at work today in the world, and in us. This is radical, revolutionary proclamation!
We’ll also sing other spirituals and gospel music from the rich African-American tradition of Christian music. These were often used to comfort the afflicted and claim hope of redemption and a new life out of slavery, violence, and Jim Crow segregation, just as Moses led the Hebrew people out of bondage in Egypt. JBM