My name is Xavier Blyden and my church home is with the congregation at the United Congregational Church of Bridgeport. This fall I will start my Junior Year at Defiance College in Defiance, OH.
As Henri Nouwen said, “that which is most personal is most universal.” Knowing yourself inwardly allows us to connect with what we have outside of ourselves. I agree with this idea that looking within ourselves as individuals, as a church and congregation will help us to locate the divine brightness that might be covered with the debris from the emotional and physical wars that plague our world.
At General Synod 2017, the Rev. Traci Blackmon shared a story about a trapeze artist who had crossed a tightrope between the U.S. and Canada whilst doing many stunts. Although the crowd cheered with great enthusiasm, when he asked for a volunteer to cross the gap on a tightrope in a wheelbarrow with him pushing it, no one volunteered. The Rev. Blackmon asked us to jump in the wheelbarrow of justice across the great divide. How many would, even with the church pushing it across?
We must eventually go in the wheelbarrow because:
Lakota people are suffering, both young and old, and from both the emotional wounds that stem from rejection and the physical wounds that stem from a lack of access to resources
People who are African Americans and Hispanic are more likely to live in areas that are more susceptible to environmental pollution
Our country is hypnotized with the pleasures that come from having everything rooted in capitalism, and people are dying because of it
Because…( fill in the blank )_______________________________________
Nobody else can do this! We need to look within ourselves now as a reminder of what Genesis 1:27 and Matthew 5:14 tell us about who we are, as well as, the divine job description that explains what we are to do with ourselves – images of God. Both biblical passages remind us that we are created in God’s own image and that we are the light of the world, as much as they remind us to share (resources and light) because there are enough resources and enough light for every person on the planet.
To end this letter I would like to share a paraphrased version of a story that Rev. Dr. Henry T. Simmons shared with us at the Synod United Black Christians lunch:
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody did it. Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. So Nobody did it!.
It is up to us – Everybody – to manifest the answer to this question in our own lives so that we can move towards living as people who share the world's resources. So Nobody will be left outside of the light of justice.
The time is now.
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