Service Title: Struggle and Lament: We Welcome All Victims of Empire
Scripture: Matthew 28
Minister Savina Martin, National Union of the Homeless, Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign
Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ shall come again! We’ve heard these words all day in songs, sermons and reading.
But on this Sunday in the year 2022 I want to talk about the convergence that is highlighting Jews, Muslims and Christians around the world. This rare overlap of major religious observances this weekend brings a confluence of reflections for communities making up the three monotheistic traditions. On Friday, Jewish people celebrated Passover to mark the Exodus of Israelites from enslavement in Egypt. On the same day, Christians observed Good Friday to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus before celebrating Easter Sunday–the Risen Savior, Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. Over the weekend, Muslims will continue observing Ramadan, a month of prayers and fasting to memorialize the transmission of the Koran.
Religious groups and others use the rare occasion to call for harmony between the traditions—Easter, Passover and Ramadan, major holidays in the three Abrahamic faiths—for the working class of the poor, and those on the frontlines in fronts of struggle fighting for justice—this Holiday is about our stories, our lives, our fight, and our plight to teach, to walk, to march, lead and learn our fight against empire is our reality. Today is a day to observe our work, our rising together, and the resurrection of our movements like the Freedom Church of the Poor where leaders speak, teach and sing from the online pulpit each Sunday. The resurrection of the poor is rising. From Hoods to the Hollers, from the valley of dry bones. These are Our Stories about the parting of seas for a people to escape slavery. We witness today a great rising; there is fasting and long nights of prayer to remind ourselves of the preciousness of life. The resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign, National Welfare Rights Union and National Union of the Homeless. This is a Kairos moment. We are here. We are organizing people from every faith, every walk of life. That is the message from Isaiah! “Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in” (Isaiah 58:12).
This is our convergence! To remind ourselves that “everybody has a right to live!” and right to say it loud, and tell the whole raw truth that we all have been created equal on this earth. That “everybody is in, and nobody is out!”
We call on all people, moral witnesses, genders, beliefs, non-beliefs to rise together to fix, turn-over and transform. As reverend Dr. Barber states, “The heart of this nation needs a transplant”.
The resurrection of the poor is rising from the valley of dry bones. These are Our Stories about the parting of seas, for a people to escape slavery; we witness today great rising; there is fasting and long nights of prayer to remind ourselves of the preciousness of life. To remind ourselves that everybody has a right to live, and right to say it loud, and tell the whole raw truth, that we all have been created equal on this earth. That everybody is in, and nobody is left out.
In an article this weekend it said, that “We should choose not to see this, the convergence as a coincidence, but a sign that all these faiths overlap”. We bring multitudes around the globe together in acts of prayers this weekend for the common good of all peoples. This is especially important in a time of conflicts and social justice concerns.”
As Sister Margaret Guider of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, recently read in her poem that:
“The convergence of these sacred days
should serve as a collective reminder,
that the prophetic heritage
of our respective faith traditions, whether adhered to or not
in the ways of our ancestors, continues to permeate the air
which the human family breathes,
of freedom, love and peace,
the life-giving breath of the Holy One.
And as Reverend Dr. William Barber the, II has been crying out, that, “It is time for meeting!” And that we have to be the moral defibrillators of our time! And that in a middle of pandemic we still did not have the conscience to do what otter be done when comes to covid relief, like healthcare for all, raising the wage, updating the poverty measure…housing for all, federal jobs programs for all, protecting voting and civil rights, high quality public education, immigration reform, indigenous rights, fair taxes, executive orders, redirect pentagon dollars and more— all of these ills conclude the need for a nation’s heart transplant. And since we know that we cannot do this alone, we must converge. We indeed need a meeting!
Let the rejected, the risen remnant rise from the valley of this nation’s dry bones. March from the four corners of this nation, let us cross the red seas, and that morning when the sun rises let us break-fast and converge to have a meeting on the mall, that is the Washington mall!
And in the meantime we still continue to come to gather across all faiths, all traditions, a call to do MORE Mobilizing, organizing, Registering a movement that votes and Educating the poor, the veteran, LGBTQIA siblings, children, the disabled, the homeless, the sick the suffering and left out and least of these, we are rising together in a convergence of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and Low-Wage Workers Assembly and to the Polls in Washington D.C. on June 18, 2018. We have been called to this rare alignment of forces to resurrect from our state of poverty to finish the unfinished business of the Reverend Dr. King after his crucifixion to fight against the continued violence of the poor, the lynching’s and public crucifixions, and jailing of our revolutionary leaders, we call on our ancestors Fanny Lou Hamer, John Lewis, and our leaders today Marian Kramer, Reverend Annie Chambers, Reverend Liz Theoharis to bless them mightily as we converge on Capitol Hill this summer. To shout with our voices our truth to have a right to life and liberty…Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ shall come again. Amen and may this word bring you on today, hope, and strength, see you in D.C.