Advent Devotional – Monday, December 7

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Week 2 – December 7 – Liberty and Justice for All?

Reflector: Jean Hodges

Galatians 3:28 — There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

A Time to Become

We live in toxic times! COVID-19 continues its costly path of destroying human lives across our country and beyond. Similarly, the debilitating virus of racism has plagued our country since its founding. There is no medical miracle, no amazing vaccine to inoculate us against the hate, the deeply ingrained prejudice that separates those of us who are white and privileged from those people of color who are mired in the generational despair of being treated as “less than.”

In her recent book, Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson documents this arbitrary construction of human division in our country by describing the emergence of caste in America. Beginning with the purchase of enslaved Africans in 1619 to work the land, the white ruling class believed it was their destiny to dominate people of color, including the indigenous people. They treated the slaves as property and created laws that sustained white dominance throughout our history. Vestiges of keeping dark skinned people a subordinate class follow us even now in prisons, housing, health, schools, and the workplace.

Witnessing the murder of George Floyd was a wake-up call: it is long past time to dismantle racism!
As the traditional people in power, it is time to recognize that we of lighter skin must claim the responsibility of our white supremecist legacy and disassemble the systems that have oppressed generations of those with darker skin. It is time to become anti-racist, to take actions that make a difference: reading books and articles to educate ourselves about what it’s like to be Black or Brown in America, listening with empathy to those who experience prejudice, speaking up bravely when we hear offensive remarks, and supporting policies that call for reform of systems that discriminate unfairly. We are called to feel uncomfortable as we willingly share in the suffering of others. We are called to act for change. God help us all!

Prayer: Creator God who loves us without bounds, as we become aware of our racist history, let us awaken to our better angels to be part of necessary change. Release us from guilt. Fill us with the courage to do the right thing. Open our hearts to empathize with our nation’s “untouchables.” Let Jesus Christ be our guide to help us be channels of his spirit that teaches us the power to Become One in God’s universal love. Amen.