Sunday, March 8, 2020
Fifty-five years ago yesterday, America experienced a watershed moment. Almost 600 civil rights marchers headed southeast out of Selma on their way to the state capital in Montgomery to protest discrimination in virtually every aspect of American life. Law enforcement met the protesters at the Edmund Pettus bridge where protesters were beaten and bloodied. It took courage to stand non-violently against such power.
It wasn’t unusual to hear about police brutality, but this time, cameras were capturing it all. Images of the beating were broadcast across television screens and on the front of newspapers all around the globe. The darkness was now exposed by the light.
Into this world of suffering and death comes Jesus. He is speaking truth to power, when according to John’s gospel, Nicodemus comes to him at night … afraid of what happens if he is seen with this disruptive rabbi during the light of day. Jesus talks to him about being “born from above,” and Nicodemus fails to understand. Jesus talks about this God who comes like the wind, though no one knows from whence it comes or where it goes. Jesus teaches that God’s kingdom is nothing like any kingdom the world has ever known. Jesus tells of a world where justice reigns … where God’s image is seen throughout ALL of creation, especially in the face of the poor and marginalized.
Today, I will be offering a prayer for those whose lives have been forever altered by the abuse of power. I will be asking forgiveness for the ways we perpetuate harm to marginalized people around the globe. I will be asking for strength to meet Jesus … not at night … but in the light of day! We are called to be courageous! Where will you meet Jesus today?
Forgive us, Lord, when we come to you only in the dark. Wake us up to your presence that we might speak justice into our world. Amen.