So I'm a Methodist. And one of my favorite parts of being a Methodist is the liturgy. The Lord's Prayer. The Apostle's Creed. The Communion Service. That written-down stuff that we read out loud together, often, to remind ourselves of what the heck we're doing in church anyway.
A few weeks ago, we had occasion to read the liturgy for baptism, and I was struck by this question:
"Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?"
And of course, we all said, "We do."
If we were more honest, we might say this: "Yeah, we'd like to, but something weird keeps happening between this pew and the doorway."
Because evil, injustice, and oppression present themselves in all kinds of sneaky forms, and we don't always resist very well.
I also find that it's easy to see the bad stuff when it's happening to somebody else.
But when evil, injustice, and oppression are presenting themselves against us, it's often another story.
We get so used to living with life as we know it.
Evil and injustice oppress us so normally, that we hardly even notice any more.
We think about it this way:
"I couldn't say no. I'd feel too guilty."
"That would be selfish."
"I'm too weak and too depressed and it won't work anyway."
"I don't know how to do life any other way."
I think about Rosa Parks, with a bully standing between her and that bus seat. And this is what she said, about that day she finally sat down: "I just got tired of giving in."
And I think so many times that there is a bully standing between us, and God's grace.
And we have been deceived into thinking that it would be bad, mean, selfish, and pointless to do anything about it.
That is a lie from the pit of hell, my friends.
May we really, truly accept the freedom and power God gives us.
So that we can receive.
May we all just get tired of giving in.