The labor movement provided many of us opportunities for good homes, access to healthcare, and workforce protections. But the labor movement has fallen short in addressing our nation’s first labor policy that exploited Africans by forcing them into slavery. Bringing together diverse hard working Americans today to address this historic failure of our nation is the only way we can move forward to guarantee decent labor standards for all of our neighbors.
The parable of the Good Samaritan. If you have grown up in the church you have probably heard this story many times. But what does it mean for our world today as kids are locked up, separated from their families, and families built in our communities are threatened with deportation.
“She takes the night shift on Fridays, to make up for the work she missed. For basketball and tumble class and spelling bees. To make three happy kids... She weighs the cost and makes the choice. It is the chicken or the rent … One day there won’t be a this or a that. Poor people rising up, we’re fighting back. Mama don’t you worry because this tide is turning. Pretty soon, we’re gonna get the chicken and the rent.” (Original lyrics by Paisha Thomas)
Jesus begins his public ministry in Luke 4 by declaring justice and freedom for the marginalized and oppressed. The rest of Luke’s Gospel builds from this initial scripture. This scripture from Isaiah proclaims the year of the Lord’s favor…
Some people might be racist, but it isn’t a problem anymore, is it? Our schools are segregated, our neighborhoods are segregated. Imagine two people walk into a county social services department for emergency assistance. One gets the services he needs and the other is rejected. One is white and one is black - despite having the same crisis. This isn’t a story from the 1960s in Mississippi, but from Ohio in 2019.
It is a blessing to these families that their children have received food from places like The Center which will help get them through the week that they’re off from school for Christmas break. However, beyond one week, we need policies that help to break through systemic oppression.
If you around kids, you know what the advent vibration is… Kids literally are vibrating with excitement in preparation for Christmas. But everyone should be so moved by God’s love that we are propelled to the same level of excitement in our work to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.
In our very busy and full lives, it can be easy to get consumed with our own problems. I can recall a time when I lived in a world which I tried to believe was post-racial. A world in which I had actually achieved the impossible task of pulling myself up by my own boot straps. I had found a way to gain the education I needed that helped me to get a job with the State of Ohio, thereby ending my ten year reliance on government aid to help me to provide for my children.