A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

You Can Rock The World

There are moments in time when it seems that the greater the number of voices that are speaking, the more each individual voice can be heard.  For example, consider Rosa Parks.  One woman refusing to move from her bus seat would have been nothing more than an annoyance if the rumblings of the civil rights movement had not already begun.  No one would have heard her voice if not for the crowd that was murmuring, then speaking, then shouting and the world was changed.

For most of my life I have held on to the idea that one person can make a difference.  I have held onto that hope despite the evidence of my eyes that sent whispering thoughts to my mind saying, "Maybe a pebbles worth of difference, but real difference? Not likely."  Now, thanks to the internet, social media, the state of the economy, the Occupy Movement, and the struggles for freedom taking place throughout the world, that whisper has changed to "You can make a difference! Today!"  With the internet and social media, if a person has an idea or even just a word of support, that word can travel quickly to reach hundreds of people.  The state of the economy has made the economic injustice of the world almost undeniable.  The Occupy Movement says that we are not alone in our frustration and our desire for transformation.  The struggles for freedom around the world give us evidence that change can happen.

The many voices crying out for justice amplify your voice and your actions.  You can speak up and say, "NO ONE has a right to hoard billions of dollars worth of resources so long as ANYONE in this world is hungry." Even if you are one of the many who prefers to be a silent observer there are ways you can speak up.   You can speak up with your dollars and say, "I WILL NOT support mega banks and mega corporations at the expense of my neighbor."   You can speak up by being an agent of peace in your community.  When you hear the gossip begin, turn your back or turn the topic.  When someone is in need, let your impulse be generosity over judgment.

Then there are our places of worship.  I am only intimately acquainted with Christianity so that is the only faith to which I can speak.  My reading of the Gospels reveals to me that Jesus taught and healed.  Yet our communities of faith preach week after week and only sprinkle in the occasional service projects or giving opportunity.  Why?  As followers of Jesus we have heard that we are saved by the love of God, it is only right that we speak that Good News.  Yet Jesus did not walk about on this earth only telling people about someday.  Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God is amongst us now.  And he healed and healed and healed.   Jesus called us to feed his sheep, to give the thirsty a drink, and the naked clothing as if they were him.  Our actions working to feed all of God's sheep should be just as much a part of who we are as our worship.  Yet, most often, this has not been the case.  Now a movement is afoot to move our society away from "let's see who can get the most" toward "let's see that all have enough."  Should we stand silent?  Jesus says, "Feed my sheep," (John 21)

One person can make a difference.  With Christ at work within you, your voice will rock the world.

Whether you're a Christian or not. 


Lynn Schlosser said...

Do you have to be Christian to be infused with the same Spirit that dwelt in Christ? No. Per our ealier conversation, it's interesting how many Christlike qualities our nonconfessing friends embody. Equally intriguing, in a sad sort of way, how far astray so many Christian folk have gone from the life and teachings of Christ. But there I go being judgmental!....

Grandma Carolee said...

I am an elderly woman, so can't join the Occupiers, but I ask God everyday to protect them and give them guidance. I also pray Dr. Martin's Luther's prayer: "Lord, I pray for the day when we will stop taking the necessities from the poor to embellish the luxuries of the wealthy." I want that day to be NOW.

Sheri Ellwood said...

Grandma Carolee, I love that prayer. I too am impatient for that day. We can't all join the Occupiers but there are other ways we can speak out. I am hopeful, too, that as the movement grows there will be further opportunities for people of all ages and situations in life to speak out. Thanks for speaking out here!