So you Want a Revolution?
I’ve been studying a lot more African American history this month. I live in a neighborhood were I see the poor being oppressed and taken advantage of. Sub-standard housing, discrimination, joblessness, sub-standard schools, broken homes, and a general sense of hopelessness. I read about the goals of MLK, Malcom X, Fred Hampton, Angela Davis and I wonder how far we’ve really come in reaching their goals of equality in the last generation.
Then I look down the road a couple miles and I see a 1.1 billion dollar stadium. I see a police force who treats their community like animals (and I’ve heard officers refer to my neighbors this way.) It seems that their main objective is to establish dominance. I see govt programs buying homes and establishing programs against the citizens will. I see gentrification trying to happen. I see murder. I see trash. I smell drugs constantly. I walk kids home and can’t see more than a few feet ahead of me because of poor lighting.
I see social media. I see comments against Black Lives Matter. I see suggestions to offer free chicken and watermelon to get more volunteers. I hear people in the suburbs upset that traffic was slow and their commutes were disrupted due to protests.
It makes me wonder, if social media was around during Jesus day what type of hashtags would be generated? How many followers would Jesus have on twitter? Would Peter be asking for volunteers to bring more loaves and fishes?
If Jesus was the Son of God, He certainly saw all the corruption in the government. However, He chose to heal the sick, to touch the leper, to walk among the poor. He didn’t start any campaign to over throw Caesar or even Jerusalem for that matter. He spent His time listening to His Father in Heaven, and doing His best to teach 12 men how to do the same.
Mark 4:11 “you are permitted to understand the secret about the Kingdom…I am using these stories (parables) to conceal everything about [the Kingdom] from outsiders.”
vs 22 “Everything that is now hidden or secret will be brought to light. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand. Be sure to pay attention to what you hear! the more you do this, the more you will understand, and even more besides.”
I want to see, I want to hear
I see the oppression of my neighbor. I want to act and do something. I want to act and solve injustice. But more, I want a spiritual revolution. I want revival. Jesus told me that everything hidden will be brought to the light. He is the Light. I believe the way forward is in the place of prayer.
I believe that the pathway to change is found in listening to the Father in Heaven and doing exactly what He says without adding to it. “I and the Father are One,” Jesus said. This is my aim. I want to be one with my Father in heaven, and this is possible because of what Jesus did for me on the cross. He became sin for me, so I could become the righteousness of God is Christ. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Him.
What’s the point? I don’t really have one. I’m just thinking through some things. Is the way to real lasting change by doing more programs? How many of those programs have accomplished real change? Some have, no doubt. But in my specific community, things are basically the same as they were a generation ago. What is the goal for change? How should things get better? More home ownership? Gardening? Better Schools? Bike trails? Everyone has their own idea, and I’m sure there’s merit to many of them. I just happen to believe the path to change is the one Jesus laid out: Be completely connected to God through the Holy Spirit at all times, and teach a few people in your sphere as best you can to Hear God’s Voice and follow Him.
At the same time, it doesn’t do much good in my opinion to pray for change then not help my neighbor find a job or learn a skill. Or vote. Or voice my opinion to city council. Faith without works is dead. I have faith in Christ’s power to change my neighborhood. I want to follow Him as He leads me in doing His work. I don’t want to start doing work, then ask God to bless it. The disciples didn’t start a food program first. They started a prayer movement first. Then came Pentecost. Then revival. Then food and an ongoing balance of order to disorder to order.
I’m okay with being tired and getting messy, as long as I know i’m pushing for a result. The only way I can be sure that I’m on the path to change is by walking with the Holy Spirit. Just my $.02.