Jesus Children of STL
Black August & Baldwin's Birthday
This last weekend brought the shooting deaths of three more children:
8 year old Jurnee Thompson was shot and killed while leaving a high school football game on the westside.
15 year old Sentonio Cox was shot and killed near the Carondelet neighborhood.
10 year old Nyla Banks was shot and killed downtown.
Our priorities are off. Our urgency is misplaced. Our children are being killed and communities further traumatized.
America, You Must Be Born Again
Our country continues to act brand new to compassion, truth, and humility. This might be the reason the church in the United States can be so bad at living out these principles we idolize but never implement. Compassion requires empathy, the truth requires education. Baldwin wrote “A person does not lightly elect to oppose his own society. One would much rather be at home among one’s compatriots than be mocked and detested by them”…Baldwin’s message is as relevant for the church as it is for the country, because their pool of citizens is the same. Because the Black identity experience is the same. That’s why the governing principles he observed are so striking.
Resurrection Season: Life Anew!
What can we celebrate this so-called Independence Day? Frederick Douglass still speaks to remind us that those who fight for and alongside the oppressed of America had little to celebrate in the first place. I agree. I choose to recall, to serve Truth and the Author of the same.
I will celebrate the survival of my people and all who ennoble themselves by clinging to peace over power.
Resurrection Sunday, Lenten Season 2019
In all of the Gospels, God’s good news comes first to those who are the furthest removed from the powers of the day. The Spirit of God embraces a young woman preparing for arranged marriage, the risen Christ and angels speak and prove the resurrection to women. Mary mother of Jesus gave birth to the last and perfect sacrifice. Mary Magdalene’s words gave birth to the message that generations have carried since. The women who tarried and mourned, dared to follow Jesus and draw near to him in defiance of social structure, theirs is the great witness to humanity: “I have seen the Lord”.
Good Friday, Lenten Season 2019
Believe that Jesus killed the crazy in your history and in your heart, and speak plainly, proudly about the chains that have been broken. Sing sweetly, sincerely, about the pains you are working to see healed. This life of death - of uncertainty, stress and desire - IS worth living. Because he is risen, indeed.
Palm Sunday, Lenten Season 2019
Jesus’s work demands dignity for community, by showing that no person can save themselves. Good news for God’s people on this Good Friday: you cannot save yourself. You need not try to. May your patterns of prayer bring you closer to the communion of Christ’s finished work on the cross.
Lisa Sharon Harper feature: "Evangelicals of Color Fight Back Against the Religious Right"
In Jesus, perfection and divinity are acquainted with lament and trepidation. He boldly declares that His death will have purpose. He humbly reveals the troubling of His soul. Were we there, were we to witness with our own eyes, we would see - as the old folks say - that it caused Him to tremble. But He was determined to save the flock of His people, the jewels of His crown (Zech 9.16). Jesus was not yearning to suffer. He was yearning to end our suffering at any cost.
Ash Wednesday, Lenten Season 2019
On a recent Sunday before dawn, Lisa Sharon Harper, a prominent evangelical activist, boarded a train from Washington, D.C., to New York City. Harper is forty-nine, and African-American, with a serene and self-assured manner. Although she had moved to D.C. seven and a half years ago, to work as the director of mobilizing for a Christian social-justice organization called Sojourners, she still considered New York her home. She missed its edgy energy, and was worn down by the political battles in Washington, which pitted her more and more aggressively against her fellow-evangelicals. On this frigid morning, she was on her way to Metro Hope, her old church in East Harlem. She couldn’t find anything like it in Washington, D.C. “It’s the South,” she told me. Black and Latinx-run evangelical churches committed to justice were scarce, she noted. Metro Hope is led by her friend José Humphreys, an erudite forty-five-year-old Afro-Latino preacher who grew up in the projects on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
God with Us and Them
Repentance is not only a call "to get right with God". It is a call to get right with our neighbors, especially the oppressed. For, how can love the God we cannot see while aiding & abetting or being apathetic about the oppression of image-of-God bearing neighbors that we CAN see?
Racism, Therapy, and People of Color
The future is foretold by the firstborn of the forgotten. God’s light shines on the places we have longed to see uncovered. It also shines on the places we ignored. The Light of the world shows us the places where Emmanuel lives that we might fear to dwell.
Advent 2018, Week 4: Incarnation (Love)
In our de facto racist America, the therapy room becomes yet another space in which white supremacy, the racist ideology of the superiority and assumed domination of people defined and perceived as white, is unaccountably upheld. How could you go about laying hold of the good gifts of therapy without turning a blind eye to the pernicious racism embedded in therapy itself?
Advent 2018, Week 3: Celebration (Joy)
I am convinced that our freedom is closely linked to our ability to not only love but to dream. The work of the activist and organizer reaches far beyond planning the next demonstration or making demands of our elected officials. At its core our work is centered on inviting folks to use their imagination to work towards a world that we cannot yet see. This work requires us to envision solutions to centuries-old problems. We must help enough people to share in our vision that the power we wield tears down old systems and resurrects new and more equitable ones. It requires us to choose to show up for our neighbor every day. This is not always because we want to but because we have a deep understanding of the fact that the dream of our liberation is linked to one another and that I’m not free until you are.
Advent 2018, Week 2: Proclamation (Peace)
So, why do we choose to hold fast to joy? Because today’s trials are not worthy to be compared to what’s coming. Because we know the Son of God shall return again. Because we know that we will one day be set free from the corruption of this world. Because we know that our joy is powerful. It signals that we are actively laughing and resisting the urge to submit to the chaos around us. It signals that we came into this battle counting the cost and we have decided to yet be joyful because we know Who to look to for it.
Advent 2018, Week 1: Expectation (Hope)
“I am convinced that Mary, like us was human and had doubts when considering the political state of the land in which she lived. However, I do believe that Mary deep down held steadfast to the prophetic words that had been spoken for years to come over the earth; the Messiah. Those words created peace within her soul.”
John Chau & The Deeper Conversation We Need to Have About Missions
The King will return. But waiting for Him is difficult.
For many of us, to say that 2018 was a trying year would be an understatement. Each day reveals that we are not just experiencing a political divide, but living in different political realities.
ANEW 2018 Review
What you say about Chau’s effort reveals a lot about your theological commitments, sociological assumptions, historical awareness, & understanding of what the mission of God is.
ANEW: Faith for Justice Forum for Change
Faith for Justice hosted it’s first conference in October. Attendees respond with their key take-aways from the conference.
For you were called to freedom
Mini Conference 12 - 13, 2018
Seeking Shalom in Your City by Casting Your Vote
American freedom, built upon the suffering and oppression of people of color, has always been reserved for those with white skin.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not call on His people to be passive, but to move, to act and to live on behalf of His will, even during times of bondage, slavery, and displacement.