THE REPENTANCE PROJECT / AN AMERICAN LENT
What if... / Voices of Protest
and Voices of Reason
and Voices of Reason
WEEK IV / DAY VII
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Coming off the Martin Luther King, Jr. day celebration I began to reflect on his “I Have A Dream” speech, given in Washington DC, on August 28, 1963, at the Poor People March on Washington. In his speech he states that, “In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes black men as well as white men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.” Since he was speaking of the under-served and under-protected citizens, I would change “her citizens of color” to her under-served citizens. The thing that most amazed me by this quote and speech is that it was a voice of protest as well as a voice of reason. He was speaking to the promise of this great country and the neglect shown to others in this great country. However, he knew that we could rise to the occasion as a nation, as he stated later, “again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force,” he was reminding us that our spiritual voices should be as active as our body and mind in addressing the issues of today.
Both voices are relevant and important; however, it seem that there is little balance between them in our communities, in our nation, and — sadly — in the body of Christ. We are called not only to reconcile one with another and to stand for righteousness, but also to reason. As Isaiah 1:18 petitions us: "'Come now, and let us reason together,' saith the Lord. 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they share be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'" Reasoning has become a lost art in this day and age. You are either a foe or an ally, which leaves many to ask the question, whose side is God on? I am sure His answer would be: the one who loves their neighbor as they love themselves.
The good news is that at this time of social, political, and religious unrest it is a perfect time for the people of God to be a voice that speaks truth to power. Not my truth -- not a truth that supports a position that I favor -- but a truth that will be a benefit to all and not just a select group. We are in a time where we cannot sit on the sidelines and allow injustices to go uncontested. The prophets of old spoke against any and all injustices that were aimed at the people of God and the principles of God’s word, regardless of who was in power; just as Moses spoke to Pharaoh, Nathan also spoke to David. As men and women of God we have to be willing to be voices, sometimes crying in the wilderness and, better yet, unifying our voices until righteousness rolls down like a mighty rushing wind.
Let us become God-focused, Christ-centered, and Spirit-led; by doing so, we will be able to live out our pledge of being "one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Written by Tee Turner