First of all, if you only have time for one hour of biblical growth, learning, and understanding I encourage you to view Pastor Ben’s message this week. He is very on point on dismantling the systematic racist world we are in and our part in healing it. It starts and ends with listening.
If you have time and energy to go deeper into your understanding of racial injustice and how you be a part of a change, keep on reading.
Discussion or Journaling
What are some of the most important symbols or images to you and what do they communicate? (For example, what meanings does the cross convey?)
Think about symbolic actions, gestures, or hashtags. What do you notice? What do they “say?”
Today’s reading: Micah 6: 6-8
Again, I can not state a more powerful message than Pastor Ben did. Click here.
We, as American’s have a tradition. We collectively bear witness to a brutal, unjust act and we react to it. Some stand in shock. Some knell. Some lock arms. Some post on-line. Some march. Some wear T-shirts. Some speak. Some listen. Some pray. Some donat money. All of these reflect the different ways that we try to make a difference, to show our support, to use our privilege. Ultimately, in our own ways, to address the issues of systemic racial injustice, white privilege, and white supremacy. Eric Reid wrote a great opinion post outlining the reasons and intentions Colin Kaepernick, himself, and others chose to kneel during the National Anthem at NFL games in the 2016 season, (hint: it was to protest police brutality). Read it here: https://nyti.ms/2yoJqPU.
The question that many of us are asking now, how do we end the cycle that we are in? How do we move from “prayers and thoughts and hashtags” to action?
Before we can run, we must learn to walk. We have to start with ourselves, with our hearts and minds. Make sure that we are listening to other people’s stories. Especially those that are different than ours. Read books, watch movies or TV shows, listen to podcasts, stream other preachers from different churches. Educate yourself on terms and history that you may not be familiar with such as redlining.
- When we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” what do you think we are asking? What does God’s kingdom look like to you? What pictures or images come to mind?
- With friends or family, talk about how you might respond in ways you bring God’s love and light to each other. What is one small step…one small action that you could take today to make a difference?
As you are listening to other people’s stories, take the opportunity to grow deeper and wider by journaling in a learning style. The What, So What, Now What model:
1) What? In this step, you will name WHAT it is that you have just seen/heard/read. Articulate WHAT it is, use your own words, write it down, or tell someone about it. If you are unable to repeat the theme(s) of what it is, review the material again.
2) So What? This step is making sense of the facts and implications. Answer the questions; why is this important? Who does this impact? In what way does this affect my family and others?
3) Now What? In this step, you will name the course of action you will do next. You have now named what it is and identified why it is important, the final step is to know what your response will be. It may be finding a way to be involved in support to others or donating to organizations that are already at work, or maybe it is acknowledging that there is a lot more learning to do and to make the commitment to dig further and learn about these relevant problems. (ie: return to step one).
Use this model with your family too. It will help everyone process what we are all bearing witness to and how we can engage in change and growth.
Prayer for the day:
Heavenly Father, help us open our hearts and minds to others. Give us your ears to listen, your heart to love, your hands and feet to serve. Amen