We are Rising! It’s time.
This was the call I heard earlier today a number of times at the Poor People’s Campaign March on Washington that I joined. That call came from a number of religious and community leaders, including our Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, J. Herbert Nelson. While this morning and afternoon was not part of the official docket of the Assembly, we were encouraged to join in. And I am glad I did.
Some may have come thinking it would be more of a celebration and coming together, but instead it was a call for Revival, a call to repentance, a call for a national moral turnaround. As a Presbyterian minister who is comfortable with communal calls to confession, I felt right at home.
The agenda was clear, this is a movement committed to shifting the moral narrative of this country – shifting to a moral agenda that lifts all people by challenging the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, ecological devastation, denial of healthcare, and the distorted moral narrative that ties it all together.
It’s time to choose life. It is time to do it together. (In fact, it’s past time.)
I heard this call for transformative change sink deep into my heart as I heard one of the event’s coordinators shift from preaching to meddling near the end of the event, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. It was a good shift.
Let’s change this narrative and change this reality. Because it is past time.
To those of you that think this is all a political protest in the streets and has nothing to do with Church, I feel compelled to remind you: This is all straight out of the Bible. Jesus had a lot to say about how we treat those who are trapped in poverty and in the line of fire, and what we are to do about that.
Now is the time, and I am hopeful this Assembly will step up and proclaim that from the mountaintop, and cajole us into joining this new narrative God has for us in 2020 and beyond. It is actually taken from an old narrative — a narrative where justice rolls down like waters for all people, where love is stronger than lies, and where God’s love will ultimately win.