This past weekend many celebrated the July 4th holiday. However, many found it hard to celebrate, and sadly some lost their lives as they attended an event, ready to celebrate. Freedom is a familiar cry in America. There are people who claim that America is a place where freedom is everywhere and available for all. While at the same time, there are others who are lamenting that freedom is only true for a few. As Christ followers we should seek justice at all times. We should heed the words spoken over the water of our baptism (in the Methodist tradition). We should accept the responsibility, and sacred calling, to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they take. While many celebrate freedom, we should also be aware of the needs of our neighbors. Are we extending love to our neighbors? Are we caring about their freedoms, dignity, and protecting their sacred worth? We should be careful in how we talk of freedom, if we’re not advocating for justice, and if we’re not lending our words and actions to care for those oppressed.
I’ve lived in America for 14 years. And, I can safely say, this is a wonderful country. I can also say, we (this is where I live, and my family is being raised, so I mean “we”) have some work to do. We need to see all the people. We need to care about the freedom, worth, and dignity of all people. Often, we say we love well and we care about freedom, but we mean the people who look like us, sound like us, and vote like us. Therefore, in humility, we can safely say we have work to do. What if we were to live into our sacred call to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they take? My prayer for this season is that we might be the advocates of justice. My hope is that we will speak out against oppressive behaviors. Might we be the light of Christ into the world?
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15