Revolution in the Streets; Putting the Last, First

Grace and peace to you,

My sisters,

Brothers

And Siblings

In Christ.

The Good News is,

That there is compassion,

Mercy

Equality

Sustainability

Because of the One,

Who

Calls us,

To Share of the Radical Love

Within us,

Jesus Christ,

Our Savior and Lord

Amen.

(pause)

Why should those who are seeking a life,

Free from strife

Of oppression

Be regulated to a status

Of the “other”

Simply because

We,

As a collective community,

Are blinded

To what has been portrayed

As what the perfect American

Who fits the mold,

Who will keep the country afloat,

(pause)

Even though

The knowledge

The wisdom

The drive

In no matter what we,

As humanity

Pursued

As

A

Vocation,

Poured back into the community,

Transforming lives

(pause)

Perhaps I may sound like a broken record,

But these gifts

Come from God.

(pause)

Yesterday one of the visiting students

During the Engage Chicago Service Day,

Asked me

How they could carry these values

In the context of college students

With them every day,

(pause)

My only reply,

Is that they see one another,

Bonded

Regardless of who they physically represent,

Or how they express themselves

Through language.

(pause)

The DACA act,

Seems to be consuming our collective consciousness

These days,

So much so,

That a commentary

About our Gospel this morning,

Appeared to challenge the norm

Of what this parable

Has meant in discerning

Our place

In our global society.

The writer dared us

To read this not as the allegory,

About the Kingdom of God,

And God’s Grace

But breaking it down

About the unfair practices

Of a landowner.

His issue?

“We are tempted to see the landowner

in God-like terms

because he is powerful,

he hires workers all day long

pays them all equally,

he declares his own goodness and justice”

But that the landowner does this,

At the expense of the migrant workers

Dignity,

That the landowner is creating a deeper division

Between these laborers

“If the goal is really to create equality among the workers,

the landowner could do so

without making a public display.

Apparently, he intends to provoke a reaction.

Apparently, he wants to declare

His works righteousness.

(pause)

My husband,

As the immigration issue

Began to fester

Translated the heated arguments,

And the dividing gap

Into the initial stages

Of a screenplay

Called “The Killing Floor”

In which the subject of racial disharmony

Between the African Descent community,

Who had established themselves for decades,

And yet became ignored,

By the supposedly cheaper labor

In the influx of the Mexicans

Who needed stability,

And perhaps we can hear the echoes

Of this landowner in our Gospel,

And the frustration of this commentator

Who pushed the narrative,

There was no Grace,

No compassion

emitted

“Am I not allowed to do

what I choose with

what belongs to me? “

So how does this compare,

With the Kingdom of God?

Would God

Be that dismissive with us,

Especially when God,

Only God

Understands the pandemonium

That pulsates within our very being,

And this is why,

There is GRACE!

“The Lord is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love”

(pause)

Perhaps,

This is the true meaning of these words,

In our Gospel this morning.

That sometimes God has to call us to task

In the midst of our grumbling.

“and you have made them equal to us

who have borne the burden of the day”

Questioning whether or not

Those who have failed,

Or even considered,

Lazy

Deserve any GRACE

This late in the game.

Arguing about securing their place,

Of being FIRST

Of having privileged access

And entitled to have,

The image of God,

And of Jesus

To reflect them,

Because they

Were

FIRST

(pause)

This “America First” ideology,

Is unfortunately

Seeping

Into

Sacred

Places.

That Americans,

Because we toiled

Because we did the hard work of building America,

Although it was through the unforgiving painful work

Of African Descent Slaves,

We,

As American citizens

Should reap the benefits.

We,

Should have access to the wealth that the land gives

Although we have unlawfully

Ripped the land,

And the meaning

From the ones who still hold it Sacred

(pause)

We,

As American citizens

Should have access to the best education,

Although even now,

We widen that chiasm,

Putting academics out of one’s reach

The choicest neighborhoods,

Even though,

For decades

We redlined block by block,

So that our definition

Of who is our neighbor

Is boxed into our strict interpretations

Access to the stellar positions of employment

That will reap us the biggest rewards,

Even though,

No matter who it is,

We will crush them,

Because we feel

We deserve it all.

(pause)

And when we witness

Someone else,

Someone’s whose history

Ancestry

Whose story

Has been wrongly represented

Has instead been stereotyped

When they succeed,

Where we fail,

We grumble!

God, YOU

YOU built them up

YOU freely invited them in

YOU opened wide the Table

To where THEY think THEY are EQUAL!

(pause)

And perhaps,

God indeed

Can be indignant with us!

Even in our selfishness,

God still protects us

From the agony

That sometimes comes

With life.

We get so angry,

That God does not punish

Or choose sides

That God should show us favor

We forget the GRACE

NEVER ENDING

Poured into all of US.

We forget,

About Jesus Christ

Who came to abolish that which separates US

From God

We forget,

That God, Our Creator

Loves

Everyone

That’s something RADICAL

That we cannot comprehend.

We forget,

That when we are compensated,

ENDLESSLY

Through the Body and Blood

Of Jesus Christ,

Then we should

DO

SHARE

LIVE OUT OUR FAITH

PERIOD.

(pause)

Clergy always have to show up, so that our siblings know what their hearts already whisper to them: God walks with them

A couple of weeks ago,

I attended a protest,

About defending the DACA act.

It’s not just a fight for them

To remain here,

In this land where we claim

A place of freedom

And the home for the brave

It’s a fight,

For them to be counted

As human beings.

At the end of the day,

At the end of our journey,

its not about the status we secured

Or the positions we obtained

Or the degrees we bought

Or the circles where we were recognized.

At the end of the day,

The Creator wants to know,

and challenge us

Where did we build relationships,

and care for others

and put those

whom society relegated to the lowest of the low

or merely as 3/5th of a human

FIRST?

Thanks Be to God.

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