What Shall We Cry Out?: A #StayWokeAdvent Lectionary Reflection


A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:6–8

God bless the grass that breaks through cement, It’s green and it’s tender and it’s easily bent, But after a while it lifts up it’s head, For the grass is living and the stone is dead. And God bless the grass. “God Bless the Grass” by Malvina Reynolds

For the season of Advent, the Hebrew Bible texts arise from the later chapters of Isaiah. During this time period of Isaiah’s writings, the Judeans had been exiled for over 50 years in the land of Babylon. Their land was destroyed, their Temple flattened, and their faith was shaken. They had lost all hope (just read Lamentations), and believed that God might never vindicate them.

This sounds like our own contemporary conundrum.

What are we supposed to cry out with so many injustices? What should we call out first without starting an Oppression Olympics?

What shall we cry out?

Nearly 70 years ago on that date, the US dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan killing over 80,000.

What shall we cry out?

Since Michael Brown’s murder, several more young black Americans have been killed by police officers.

What shall we cry out?

After the prophet asks the question, the response given is that people are like grass. People’s constancy is like that of a weak, little flower. We fade, wither, and die. And the breath of God, which in other passages brings life, here, brings death. Surely, people are grass. Then maybe that’s it. As I’m told often enough, justice will never come about until God reigns. And so we wait. We wait for other seedling to grow and hopefully they’ll fix some of our racist and sexist attitudes, laws, and perspectives.


    Theology of Ferguson

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    Exploring how our faith, race, justice, and activism intersect. Standing with #ferguson Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. DM for more info.

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