A Long Shot for Racial Justice-Open Letter to the ELCA Bishops Revisited
TENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Prayer of the Day: O God our defender, storms rage around and within us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us in the faith of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
“Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
and will make a path for his steps.” Psalm 85:10-13.
This hope of the psalmist is also the hope of prophets, apostles and saints of every generation. It isn’t yet a reality. That is because hope is not self-executing. Unlike a mere wish, hope does not come to fruition on its own. Jesus tells us as much: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23. Allegiance to the reign of God leads to loss of privilege, loss of property and even to dissolution of family ties. Luke 18:29-30. So the question every generation of disciples must confront is this: Is it really worth it?
As those of you who follow me know, I recently wrote an open letter to the bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) proposing a five year reparational tithe to be delivered to black American churches for their mission and ministry. There was, in my view, nothing particularly “radical” or “new” in this proposal which I intentionally dubbed “modest.” Read more