- Day 1: Galatians 1
- Day 2: Galatians 2
- Day 3: Galatians 3
- Day 4: Galatians 4
- Day 5: Galatians 5
- Day 6: Galatians 6
- Day 7: Philemon
Look with mercy, gracious God, upon people everywhere who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Rouse us from our complacancy and help us to eliminate cruelty whereever it is found. Strengthen those who seek equality for all. Grant that everyone may enjoy a fair portion of the abundance of the earth; through your Son, Jesus Chrsit our Lord. Amen.(ELW 79)
Galatians isn’t the easiest of Paul’s letters to read. It’s uncomfortable. It’s packed with law vs faith language. Paul is harshly correcting churches in Galatia that have accepted the teachings of missionaries who teach that in order to be in the faith, the men in the community must be circumcised. Throughout the letter Paul insists that people are already in the faith because of what God has done through Jesus, they have been set free and that this freedom empowers them to live faithful lives.
The good news in Galatians is that that we too are free. Audrey West writes, “Paul’s letter is a potent reminder to stand firm in the gospel of Christ and trust in the goodness of his graciousness.”
Yes, we are already saved and we won’t be more saved by works of any kind. However, that doesn’t mean that we can sit around and do noting until we die. Our Christian freedom empowers us to work for the freedom of all people. Because we are free in Christ we must proclaim that Black Lives Matter. We can’t idly sit by as our brothers and sisters are being murdered. And as the whitest mainline denomination, we have a lot of work to do. Standing firm in the gospel of Christ manes that we take the time to educate ourselves and our communities about the history of racism and that we use what we have learned to work for justice. Christians should not be debating if Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter…end of discussion. Dignity is not debatable.
If you haven’t watched Bishop Eaton’s sermon from this past weekend, I suggest that you make the time this week to do so.
Below you’ll find a list of resources that you can use to educate yourself and others on the issue of racism (this list is a starting point). Many of the books listed below are available through your local library (the waiting lists are long). I’d suggest that if you do purchase any of these texts that you do so through a black owned bookstore (I’ve listed a few below).
As we spend our summer reading and reflecting may we find time to do the hard work, may we use our freedom in Christ to work for the freedom of all creation, and may we stand in the truth that Black Lives Matter. Amen.
1. In what ways are you using your Christian freedom to work for justice?
2. In what ways are you using your Christian freedom to proclaim that Black Lives Matter?
3. Pick something from the list of resources (or find your own resource(s)). Reflect on how the information in the source made you feel. What did you learn? How can you use what you learned to work for racial justice?
Black Lives Matter Resources
The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
The Cross and the Lynching Tree James Cone
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
The Condemnation of Blackness by Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Locking Up Our Own by James Forman Jr.
How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
The Black History Buff Podcast
A ‘Glorious Poetic Rage’
Bryan Stevenson on the Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protests
One city, two crises
I Am Not Your Negro