This post emerges from a message I delivered as a discussion at Tapestry Ministries in Berkeley, CA.
I believe that each of us carries a light within which is meant to be cultivated. It exists in an intimate and sacred space where the holy resides. This post emerges from this point, that we, you and I are bringers of the light. That said, we are the Emerging Kingdom of God. We move from this life point. We are meant to take the kingdom of God to people, to provide them with an alternative and different imagination to the life they live now. That said, there is a dire need to break the silence, to erode the staid oppressions that hold up the pain and oppression which characterize so much of life in America. As bringers of the light, similar to Martin Luther King, Jr., we are the Kingdom of God, we are breaking the silence. I have included Dr. King's Breaking the Silence Speech given at Riverside Church in New York City on April 4th 1967. Go now beloved and break the silence and receive your liberation.
Having received this incomprehensible love how then shall anyone not preach the gospel? I believe that the Apostle Paul, with his strengths and weaknesses, received this message of grace although not in its fullness, and was comforted as he lived out his call among the people of his time. It is this great love which compels and comforts us as we preach the gospel with our lives among the skeptic, the lukewarm and those who have lost their hope in God, Jesus, his Cross, and the Church. Beloved Disciples of Christ be not discouraged but be ever so mindful (pause) that the present human condition is not new; it is as old as humanity itself. Today, in the beginning years of the 21st century, many people have embraced ideas of a tangible practical god, a simplistic god, even a visible god of economy which responds to the ego, the flesh and the mind, which bestows a false rest, and a false hope, abusing the soul and enslaving the heart resulting, for some, in death by suicide.
I am mindful of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech A Time to Break the Silence given at Riverside Church in New York City on April 4th 1967 where he takes the U.S. government to task for its allegiants to capitalism and its embrace of militarism in the name of empire. He calls for a revolution of values, values which reflect the love of God. I suspect that he had experienced, like Paul, the incomprehensible love God which overcame a world made insensitive to God’s love for the sake of flesh and profit. It was this greater gift of love which moved him to express God’s passion and care for the oppressed. For me his words ring noble, true and timely as today we are bombarded through various media by modes of deception, consumption, and a faith of works grounded in capitalism, globalization and militarism.
Similar to the Apostle Paul, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the enslaved African, inclusive of those who traversed the inhumanity of the middle passage, yet never lost hope that their descendants would know freedom, today we press on like Harriet Tubman, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Malcolm X, the immigrants of today, and people of an uncommon faith in the midst of empire and the oppressions which maintain and uphold its supremacy with our eyes lifted up to the everlasting and sovereign God.
Our sure and confident hope and comfort in the everlasting God is nourishment for our souls as the Emergence of the Kingdom of God intrudes and begins to erode the staid sensibilities of empire and its systems of the practical, normal, privilege, and the supremacy of inequality which shape and contour life here in America. This intrusion, similar to the Cross of Jesus of Nazareth is complex and fearful, and not always understood yet embodying the desire of God for a beloved humanity.