2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14; Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20; (1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21; Psalm 16;) Galatians 5:1, 13-25; Luke 9:51-62
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27; Psalm 130; (Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15, 2:23-24 or Lamentations 3:23-33; Psalm 30;) 2 Corinthians 8:7-15; Mark 5:21-43
Genesis 22:1-14; Psalm 13; (Jeremiah 28:5-9; Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18;) Romans 6:12-23; Matthew 10:40-42
In the mid-1980s I attended a church that still honored “Money Sunday,” a practice begun in the 1950s. Once a year members of the congregation gathered to make financial pledges to support missions efforts. As the pledges were collected, the minister would read the amounts aloud from the pulpit: “Here’s one for $50. . . . Here’s another for $100 and one for $1,000!” Occasionally a pledge came in for, say, $10,000, eliciting all sorts of approving oohs and aahs from the congregation.
In 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation marked the beginning of the end of slavery. The new air of freedom brought an unintoxicated euphoria. But a century later, freedom was redefined, this time as an absence of responsibility. The new air of license was inhaled and produced an intoxicated forgetfulness of anything that smacked of authoritarian inhibitions or paralyzing parameters.
Most people think of politics as a regrettable but necessary business. Necessary, because we live in a world of scarce resources, there are many of us, and our needs, interests and desires conflict. We need agreements as to the fair distribution of these limited goods, and an established authority to ensure the policing of those agreements.In the fight over these scarce resources, each of us fears being revealed as greedy, insecure, envious and deceitful. But imagine a different kind of politics—a politics of love.
"The past is not over,” said Odessa Woolfolk of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Speaking to my divinity school class, Woolfolk spoke of systems that continue to oppress and seriously limit access to resources that are basic to any human being. With slavery a thing of the past, with segregation banned, with the right to vote for everyone, what is the problem? It is access.