Happy Fifteenth Anniversary, LICF!
As our Church celebrates this momentous occasion, we resolutely affirm, given the current social and political climate, we are living testimony that “Love Wins!” This affirmation is necessary because our present times are so reflective of an image painted centuries ago, by the Prophet Isaiah (59:14):
“Justice is turned backward, and righteousness stands far away; for truth, stumbles in the street, and equity cannot enter”.
In modern-speak, this alludes to the contradictory acts of prejudice, injustice and tyranny currently being enacted throughout these United States. These actions are an affront to the gains obtained by historically marginalized people – we who are women, People of Color, LGBTI, Differently Able, non-Christian – and non-white rich males. But despite this, we refuse to be forced back into closeted existences and second-class citizenship. We are standing up and speaking up because “we, too, are America!”
Our invocation of America is important. It expresses a belief that we, the historically marginalized, are also a valuable part of the country’s fabric and no oppression, discrimination or unfairness, however unrelenting, can stop us from living, loving and growing strong. Even more, because we are People of faith, we are expected to continue God’s cycle of benevolence in the world where diversity counts and respect is common in community. This is really all about love and this idea of the world emerges from the notion of “God, Self and Neighbor”. That’s why, when we, in our daily life with one another, see any tendency to skip over or neglect our neighbor, and consequently fail in our love towards our neighbor, we must act. After all, “every act of love, as Jesus shows us, is an act of resistance to the forces of darkness, division, and hate.”
Our time to resist is now because the onslaught of civil assault is just beginning. In so doing, we are heeding the great Renaissance humanist, Leonardo da Vinci, who said that, “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” The resistance of which we speak would move us beyond simple protest which only says we don’t like hateful things and refuse to go along with them. Rather, we must build a resistance that seeks to put an end to hateful things and work to make sure everyone else stops going along too. Our resistance should entrench us, more than ever, not only on safeguarding our personal survival but commit us to deliberate acts of resistance that synthesizes the equity of everyone.
Hear anew, the words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
For these reasons, let us stand with people of faith and moral commitment in a growing American Resistance to fight unjust actions. Let us intentionally reject the forces of evil, stand against soul-harming hatred and join in movements to stop maltreatment of God’s Children. Our foundation ought to be Jesus’ message of love and freedom for all God’s children. Let us oblige ourselves to always follow the instructions he provided in his Sermon on the Mount in the Beatitudes; and lastly, doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25 in his injunction to help the needy with works of mercy. In the end, every person will be made to feel like a full citizen of this country because “we, too, are America!” and it is how “love wins.”
Meanwhile, hold onto this LICF…
“God has loved us, God’s people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love, God has drawn us to God’s self.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
Yours in Resistance…. Reverend Gale Jones, Executive Pastor