Chapter Eleven: Making Revolution Irresistible

“Just as ‘believers’ are a dime a dozen in the church, so are ‘activists’ in social justice circles nowadays. But lovers are hard to come by. And I think that’s what our world is desperately in need of—lovers, people who are building deep, genuine relationships with fellow strugglers along the way, and who actually know the faces of the people behind the issues they are concerned about. We are trying to raise up an army not simply of street activists but of lovers—a community of people who have fallen desperately in love with God and with suffering people, and who allow those relationships to disturb and transform them.” (p. 281). Is yours a community of “lovers?”

“There is power in a name. One of the things happening in our country around racial justice right now is that people are ‘naming’ injustice. No longer are we just talking about statistics, numbers, and data. We are lifting up the names of the victims of a failed justice system. Injustice becomes a name of a hashtag and goes viral. And there is something in a name that humanizes, personalizes, and wakes us up. Trayvon Martin. Mike Brown. Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. Anthony Hill. Tony Robinson.

The statistics have faces now. The numbers have names. They remind us of the collateral damage of a failed system, and the urgency of the moment. We can’t make injustice history until we make injustice personal. For many people of color, the victims of injustice have had names for a long time. Names like Emmett Till help is know how far we have come, and names like Eric Garner remind us how far we still have to go.” (p 290). How do you remember the names in your faith community?

“We have prayed for peace, and we will continue to pray for peace. But we have also realized that sometimes we think we are waiting on God when actually God is waiting on us. We cannot wait on politicians or governments. The new world the prophets of old told us about begins with us. It begins with you. We are the ones that we have been waiting on.” (pp. 293-294).

“Joy and celebration don’t usually mark progressive social justice circles, or conservative Christian circles, for that matter. But the Jesus movement is a revolution that dances. Celebration is at the very core of our kingdom, and hopefully that celebration will make its way into the darkest corners of our world—the ghettos and refugee camps, and the palaces and prisons. May the whispers of hope reach the ears of hope-hungry people in the shadows of our world.” (p. 300). In what part of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement have you seen joy and celebration?