Edition: October 2020
Rev. Dr. Irie L. Session
Between the murders of Brionna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, Amy Cooper’s outright racism and lies, and the white cop in Minneapolis who took a knee on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, all while he was gasping “I can’t breathe,” I’m ready for revolution!
While, these acts of violence may trigger my own fight response, and when I say fight, I do mean physical and hand to hand. However, the kind of fight response called for in this season of America’s discrimination and inequality toward Black bodies, isn’t physical, it’s something else. The way in which we must fight as followers of the life, teaching, and ministry of Jesus Christ, is from above, from God. It isn’t physical or otherwise harmful to the body. Jesus made that clear when he told Peter, “put that knife away. That’s not how we roll!” The kind of fight response called for in this season of racial hatred and economic injustice is different. It is the response we see in this text – the early church fought greed, hoarding, and economic injustice with what I call, extravagant sharing. Now, I know that isn’t really what we want to hear right now. At least it isn’t what I wanted to hear or preach. But, it’s in the text.
The first Century church understood the concept of extravagant sharing. They had a communal practice of sharing themselves and their possessions with one another. Extravagant sharing was how the community cared for its poorest and most vulnerable members; it was testimony to their external claim to the world, that God was in their midst.
Now, I realize extravagant sharing requires a paradigm shift, a new mind, a transformed collective consciousness. Martin Luther King Jr., said it this way, “Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.” An inner spiritual transformation is what is needed in the soul of America. You see extravagant sharing is antithetical to the pattern to this world, it isn’t about me and mine nor you and yours. It isn’t bootstrap sociology. It’s is a communal sociology. It’s ubuntu theology – I am because we are-we theology. Extravagant sharing is seeing the imago dei in every human being; it’s desiring the best for all God’s beloveds. It’s sharing air – so when systemic oppression, racial injustice has its knee on the throat of particular communities, specifically, on the bodies of black and brown folk, and they are unable to breathe due to lack of a livable wage and affordable health care, we as a collective must demand justice. Sharing air requires us to show up where it counts to ensure every knee is removed from the necks of God’s beloved community. Extravagant sharing means all God’s people have a right to air, to breathe, to live, and to flourish.
Also on this publication:
Minister's Appreciation | Rev. Dr. Timothy James
Virtual Leadership Training
Let Us Pray - Invitation to a Monthly Prayer
Disciples & COVID 19 Resources
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