Why is it, Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, that I am so embarrassed to call myself a Christian? Why is it that I am embarrassed to be linked with my white Anglo-Saxon Protestant brothers and sisters? I think it is because they irk my soul no end with their idolatry of the Scriptures, their misogynistic, homophobic, racial, and social attitudes (based on scripture, of course). At present, I am deeply disturbed by their antagonism against Syrian refugees, Hispanics, Muslims or any other group who are different from themselves. (I don’t even want to begin to deal with the “imagined war on Christmas!”) I know that such attitudes have been since history began, and I know that I, myself, am a long distance away from Your Dream of what someday will be—in Verna Dozier’s words—“a friendly world of friendly folk beneath a friendly sky.” I believe in that Dream. I’ve given my life to telling that story of Promise. I yearn for it to be realized in me. I pray for it to be realized within my brothers and sisters and in all creation.
|Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial|
Now, this morning, I am embarrassed yet again. I am embarrassed to be a resident of Maryland, for our governor has declared that we, as a state, will not entertain any Syrian refugees. (That’s unconstitutional, or so I understand, but again this is an example of how those who say they abide by the constitution or Bible, or whatever, often interpret it to fit their own positions. I suppose, no, I know, I do the same!). How can we be participants in Your Dream if we close our hearts and our space to those You love, just as much as You love us? Why are we so afraid? Why are we afraid to accept, afraid to open our space, afraid of the new, afraid of the present, and always wanting to go back to something that never was? I’m beginning to get a bit fearful myself—fearful that Your Dream will be delayed for a long, long time to come by our present attitudes, both my own and those of my brothers and sisters.
Grant us all wisdom, grant us all courage, for the living of these days….Amen.