A Change is Coming

A bush burns,

A bush burns, a baby floats, and an impudent disciple finally gets it: "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). The denouement in many of this month’s stories is found not so much in the action as in the extraordinary shifts of hearts and minds.

Joseph is sold into slavery and the Israelites fall into forced labor, but between his dreams and their mystical visions they follow God’s leading toward a land of milk, honey, and shalom.

Romans provides a spirituality of redemption and radical inclusiveness. Whether Jew or Greek, friend or foe, Paul beckons all who would be faithful to "not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds" (Romans 12:2).

More than once in these weeks, Peter is all wet, either literally or figuratively. Only when he takes a leap of faith does he land squarely on solid ground. Jesus’ response? "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church..." (Matthew 16:18).

Dreamers and mystics, apostles and aliens in a strange land - those whose voices ring out in these narratives seek to change history in accordance with God’s will. Repeatedly, they discover they must first change their way of thinking.

Millennia later, everything has changed and nothing has changed. Hunger, the oppression of immigrants, the false hope of violence, the pit or the prison - we also hope a change is coming. For us, too, it will begin in our hearts and minds.

Robert Roth is a writer and social activist who lives in East Lansing, Michigan.

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Sojourners Magazine August 2005
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