“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. …” Matthew 5:43-48
We recognize Bishop Michael Curry as the Episcopalian preacher who so recently stunned the world with his energetic words at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Now, Curry and other prominent Christian leaders have taken their message of Christ’s unfailing love to the streets of our nation’s capital. Curry was joined by other progressive Christian leaders, including Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the first female bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Friar Richard Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A candlelight vigil was held Thursday, May 24, 2018, followed by a march to the White House, dubbed “Reclaiming Jesus.” “As elders,” Curry stated, “we view bringing (this movement) to the public square as a tangible example of how to live out (Christ’s) way of love.” About two thousand people packed the National City Christian Church prior to the march.
Curry said, “It’s like somebody woke up Jim Crow*.” Without naming politicians, parties, or national leaders, these committed Christians issued a statement rejecting the “America First” philosophy as “theological heresy for followers of Christ.” They denounced “xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal.” They also condemned “the normalization of lying…in favor of personal recognition and gain often characterized by offensive arrogance.” The leaders shared their concerns of a “dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest level of our government and in our churches,” which put “the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith” at stake. It is time, they said, to prove that conservative “evangelicals” cannot claim exclusive rights in the United States to defining and interpreting Christianity.
“As citizens,” Curry stated, “we want our government to reflect our values…(to) follow the teachings of Jesus Who taught us to love God and love our neighbor.”
Lord, stir in us a passion for Your message of love and tolerance for all peoples, nations, creeds and persuasions. Amen
- The “Jim Crow” persona was a theater character by Thomas D. Rice and an ethnic depiction in accordance with 19th century ideas of African-Americans and their culture. Rice’s famous stage personal eventually lent its name to a generalized negative and stereotypical view of black people. The “Jim Crow” period began when segregation rules, laws, and customs surfaced after the Reconstruction era ended in the 1870’s. The period existed until the mid-1960’s when the struggle for civil rights in the United States gained national attention. (Source: Wikipedia) Curry’s reference to the “reawakening” of the “Jim Crow” era is a direct reference to the insurgence of racial tension in the United States today.