From Ava DuVernay’s award-winning film to President Obama’s speech at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, America has remembered Selma this year. We have honored grass-roots leaders, acknowledged the sacrifices of civil rights workers and celebrated the great achievement of the Voting Rights Act. At the same time, we have recalled the hatred and fear of white supremacy in 1960s Alabama. But we may not have looked closely enough at this ugly history.
In 2008, just as the phenomenon that we’ve come to call the Great Recession was showing up on the cover of the New York Times, I asked a friend who lives in a poor neighborhood how the downturn in the economy wa
When Jim Douglass graduated from college, his father sent him a life insurance policy. Jim thanked his father but returned the policy. He could not accept the gift, he said, because he wanted to understand the truth of an “economics of providence” that he had read about in Matthew 6. Rather than pay premiums on a life insurance policy, Jim said he would store up treasure in heaven by sending a monthly payment to provide basic care for a little girl in France. I’m convinced that Jim is right.
I once heard a preacher say that it might have been crowded and a little smelly inside Noah’s ark, but the folks inside knew it was better to be on board than not.
The same thing goes for living together in the church. Traveling together isn’t always easy, but the ark saves us from drowning. And it does more than that—it gives us a space where we can learn to live together.
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