Some days I simply think about how I am going to survive the day. What will I cook? What will I accomplish? Will I connect with someone or not? Other days I am thinking about the big issues we are facing. Some of those issues revolve around church—what we can do now and what we might be like in the future. Some of those issues are about economy and climate change. Some are about fear and loneliness.
Life is strange, but day by day I become more and more aware of my privilege. My life is not under threat. I have a house and an income. I am okay. My family are okay. I am privileged.
As I reflect on my privilege, I am also conscious that I have a responsibility. I am not sure what shape that should take, but I need to care for those who are less privileged from my place of privilege.
My daughter sent me a message yesterday asking how the church is addressing racism. How do I respond? I am “attending” a conference on preaching and climate change. How are we going to address that? We have people in our churches and communities who are hungry, homeless, jobless, how am I going to address that?
Poverty and injustice are not going away because we are locked down. When we return to “normal”, they will still be live issues. How do I respond to them? How do we, as church, respond to them?
Earlier I wrote about being patient. Patience, while a personal characteristic, is not a part of working for justice or climate change. People in poverty need our attention now—not our patience. Creation needs our changes now—not our patience. Of course, when I think this way, I become overwhelmed—again. Perhaps, the key to being a bit less overwhelmed is to wonder not just what can I do, but what can we do together? How can we join together to address poverty, racism, injustice, climate change? What we have done in the past may not be what we do in the near future, but we are called to act together.
God does not love us based on our actions, but our relationship with God changes how we act. Our actions flow out of our understanding of God’s love for us, others, creation. Jesus addressed injustice in his time. As his followers, we now look at our context and find ways to address the injustices before us.
So we begin I think we being by acknowledging our place of privilege. Perhaps, as we reflect on the pandemic, we will be more aware of privilege and able to acknowledge our own privilege. From the place of privilege we can use our voices, our incomes, our understanding to support those who are not privileged. We find the areas that we can best address. We find people with whom we can work because this gives us more power than we have has individuals. We act. And when we become jaded or overwhelmed, because we are acting with others, we have people to support us so we can keep going together. Gosh, that sounds a bit like church!
Some days I can only think about how to get through the day. Other days I develop plans for how we can be God’s people together. I look forward to hearing how other people are developing ideas. Maybe after all this we will be God’s people in new ways, tackling injustice together in God’s name.
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