The nature of lament is profoundly spiritual and political. Lament ensures that questions of justice are asked and makes clear that things are not OK. But it doesn’t stop there. Lament suggests that what is wrong can be changed.
The tool of a lazy mind, the product of shallow thinking and the evidence of unsettled and angry spirits, the stereotypes that are ubiquitous in the religious and political discourse of our age are also evidence of a nation misguided, the immaturity of the body politic.
During the Civil Rights Movement being not-racist in the midst of murder, lynching, theft and almost every other degradation known to humanity, wasn’t enough. It still isn’t.
Saints are regular, blessed folks around us through whom goodness shines. Being blessed is not about storing up riches and celebrity accolades; it is all about giving oneself away.
John MacArthur’s “go home” comment directed toward Beth Moore was an insult to her and to her ministry of teaching and preaching. But it was more than that. It was an insult to every female preacher, teacher and pastor living out God’s call to ministry.
Borrowing from scripture and the U.S. Navy, I suggest a pastor’s role in today’s world should be like that of Jesus, who began his movement with the flexibility of a new type of vessel, a small crew and the vision of a new creation based on the pattern of heaven.
A genuine reparations process must focus fundamentally on achieving justice and equity for those who have been harmed, not on expiating the guilt of those who have benefitted, directly or indirectly, from the infliction of harm.
The experience of James Bradley as one of America’s first black seminarians can show us how far we have come. But, even as theology schools consider ways to address their culture of whiteness, it also shows us how far we have yet to travel.
Oh, the dilemmas of pastoral ministry. Here I sit, looking at a beautiful piece of art for Sunday’s order of worship, trying to determine whether to cover the nakedness of the man helped by the Good Samaritan.