The legacy of slavery persists in many forms. Let us work to dismantle all that doesn’t serve us and constructively engage in the dialogue, action and hard work involved in building a vision of the world we want to create – where all people are treated equally, given equal opportunity and diversity is embraced and celebrated.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready, the teacher disappears. Whenever we understand what we have been taught, we become teachers. This is the essence of discipleship and the great commission, two inextricably linked responsibilities that Jesus fulfilled and calls us to fulfill.
Faith and fear call us to believe in something we cannot see. The resurrection of Jesus removes the fear of death and fulfils our faith in God’s good plan for all humanity and the gift of eternal life.
Holy Saturday gives us the opportunity to ponder what life will be like after our Lenten reflections. It’s the day after the commemoration of Jesus’ horrific death. As with any personal loss or tragedy, there is a time for grief and lamentation. The only way out is to hope for better things to come.
We who have been justified through Jesus’ crucifixion, must now pray for love and justice to prevail in the world, through the empowering courage of the Holy Spirit to act through service to the oppressed, the marginalized and the downtrodden. If not us, who will?
Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem started with the adoring, cheering crowds on Palm Sunday, who then decried him on Holy Thursday, witnessed His cruel death on the cross. But Holy Week ends with Jesus’ glorious resurrection on Easter Day, which is our hope that the will to love, when empowered by the grace and mercy of God, will always, always, always triumph over fear.
Our reflections on Jesus’ temptations and his responses should lead us to acknowledge that the fulfilment of our human needs is a legitimate pursuit, but not at the expense of others. The best way to do this is to be advocates and active participants in the quest for social justice.
The transfiguration is the literal depiction of how love, personified in Jesus, rises above the limitations of the law, and removes the veil of political correctness, racial tolerance, indifference, race, religion, gender, and all the other things that influence the way we view and treat ‘other’ people. That, dear sisters and brothers in Christ, is the connection between Jesus’ transfiguration and the stories we tell during Black History Month.
Storytelling can be hard. It is uncomfortable to recount the acts of injustice, the cruelty of slavery and the complex issues of race relations. It is important to tell the story of Black people as it is intertwined with the story of all of us here in North America. And yes, telling the story of slavery is still relevant as we are living with the legacy of slavery.
The shameful history of racism against Black people in the Worldwide Anglican Church is well documented. The Anglican Church was part of the oppressive colonial government institutions and made no attempt prior to the early to mid-19th century to declare abhorrence of slavery and racial discrimination. It was only in 2006, less than 20 years ago, that the Anglican Church through the Archbishop of Canterbury finally faced the truth of its history and issued a formal apology for the role it played in slavery and the consequent oppression of Black people in the Caribbean.