For those of us who are being transformed by new-to-us revelations of long-present realities, this awakening journey is surely God’s mercy to us. It isn’t good for us to be unaware of actual history, ignorant of present realities of oppression, oblivious to marginalized people’s experiences. Some of these things might make us uncomfortable when we are made aware of them. But we need to be made aware. It’s part of our healing, our transformation, our wholeness.
"...Perhaps, in this moment, God is calling us to think more critically about the role of the church and its relationship to the least of these."
Light seems so much brighter when we are emerging from the darkness. This is why I need that Tenebrae service, to sit and bear witness to the darkness, to recognize it, and then to surrender it. Not surrender to the darkness, but to surrender the darkness.
May these paintings open our hearts up to the profound depth of God's love, and may they stir in us a passion for extending that love and grace to others. It is our hope that contemplating the execution of Jesus does something to us, in us. We pray that as we reflect on the love of God, it transforms us into people who are merciful and who are committed to ending the death penalty.
What if we were to attack instead of retreat? What if, in place of despair or even a secure defense, we were to perpetrate an all-out offensive on the things that threaten to divide us: antisemitism, racism, domestic (what a word) violence, the prevalence, and ease of acquisition of guns, America’s preferred instrument of destruction?
This is a moment of reckoning. White Christians have but two options set before us: to walk the narrow road with Jesus in the path of repentance of our exploitation of whiteness and Christian supremacy to ensure our diverse neighbors have a fair shot, or to continue walking on the broad road that exploits our privilege for our own benefit, where everyone not like us is viewed as an enemy to be marginalized so we can flourish.
The gospel is only good news to the poor if it is good news for all those made vulnerable.