Bible readings from the Revised Common Lectionary: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38
As we are summoned to Jesus' challenge of authentic discipleship, through the gift of faith, we see the fallacies in our socio-economic structure. Immigration laws preserve the status quo; families longing for a loving embrace are separated by a sea of red tape and years of waiting time, while laws create a two-tiered economy between documented and undocumented, exploited workers. Glass ceilings of exclusive leadership mean that a few have opportunity to dictate reality for the many. People cry out, "Why have you abandoned me?", when they struggle to secure the basic necessities of life, while seeing others consume in material greed. And the violence of military aggression rejects God's peaceful righteousness.
Allowing our name to be changed affirms our covenant to walk in God's presence. Empowered by faith, we deny self-interest. When we are mocked and jeered, we may have moments of despair, but we see the light of hope. For the sake of the Gospel, we work to bring all nations to the table, where they have the opportunity for the necessities of life. We do not weaken in faith when we consider our inadequacies. When each of us takes small actions for justice, the collective sum of our initiatives can bring about significant change.
Our actions may disturb the faithless, but do not be ashamed of the cross you carry as you awaken your neighborhood from the slumber of complacency. Let your voice and actions motivate people to move beyond talking about issues to working with compassion for social change.
Research solidarity issues associated with fair trade coffee and encourage a cafe in you neighborhood to add it to their menu.
Barbara Born, Ph.D., is a freelance writer and volunteer, with interests in urban public policy, the environment, peace, and social justice.