Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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Salvation and Stilettos Blog

It's Me, It's Me, Its WE, Oh Lord! - Luke 4:16-22a

W.W.J.D. = It’s Me, It’s Me, It’s WE, Oh Lord
Luke 4:16-22a
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…
“The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for ALL, in common,will take you into eternity.” – Marcus Garvey
BlogFam, As we begin to have our conversation around issues of JUSTICE, one of the unavoidable, most critical aspects that we must own is our own responsibility to ensure JUSTICE and our own ability to create JUSTICE around us.  JUSTICE is really not an US and THEM conversation for when you begin there, you already limit the possibilities of seeing JUSTICE take place.  JUSTICE is not a black and white issue and I am not simply referring to race.  JUSTICE has gray areas even for people of faith and full of conviction.  There are serious conflicts among Christians as to how we are called to love our neighbor as we love ourselves socially, politically, economically, and educationally.  We do not all vote the same way and we do not all espouse the same ideologies as reflected in our conversations between each other.  JUSTICE was not even easy for Jesus so I am not surprised that 2000 years later, we continue to define and re-define,debate and re-negotiate JUSTICE on what we believe to be the best terms for all people.
And though, at our very core, I do believe that all people were created in the image of God, it is so often hard for us to see that when we have these types of conversations. Thus, for this reason alone, I want to begin with this assumption: ALL people are created in the image of God. This is not a statement about what ideas or behaviors one thinks are god-ly because that would be an immediate jump to tension and division.  I want us to pause on today and truly consider what it means for us to love and respect other human beings as images of God in this world.  I wonder how we might proceed differently if we would just pause before the verbal attacks around issues of JUSTICE to remember that God loves you AND the person you do not agree with, too.  God truly loves all of us and it is out of God’s love for us that God also desires that we love one another.
It’s me, it’s me, it’s WE, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.
I really do appreciate the wisdom of Jesus in our foundational scripture passage. And before we approach each part of what Jesus has to say about JUSTICE, I think it is imperative that we begin with that FIRST line: The Spirit of the Lord is upon ME.  BlogFam,the Spirit of the Lord is upon YOU. Perhaps, you are in a desperate situation and JUSTICE is not what you believe has been given to you.  You might feel like your community has experienced INjustices at the hand of your neighbor for so long that all you know to do is fight.  Fight for paved roads, fight for better schools, fight for a fair trial, fight for affordable housing, fight for food,fight, fight FIGHT for the liberty and justice that appears NOT to be for all people.  This is a tiring perspective because while you look back and see how far your community has come; perhaps you lookahead and still see that more fighting still is yet to be done.  There have been so many heroes and she-roes that have given their lives for the cause of JUSTICE.  They have answered the call of God and declared that the Spirit of the lord was upon them to serve as a vessel for JUSTICE in this world.  And we still need YOU.  We need you to help us to see where the needs are and where the fight is and where the support is needed.  We need YOU. We need you to help us to continue to care beyond any victories we think we might have achieved.  We need YOU.  We need you to remind us that children are still starving, the elderly still cannot get needed medication,young adults cannot afford higher education, and that we have not yet realized liberty and justice for all people in all places.
It’s me, it’s me, it’s WE, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.
BlogFam, the Spirit of the Lord is upon YOU.  Perhaps, you have “arrived” and you are now in a position of power to help those who truly cannot help themselves.  You get invitations to meetings and fancy dinners and have access to men and women who know how to get things done.  You might feel as though people should just work harder, as though people should just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.  That sounds great but when you don’t have boots in the first place, you do not have boot straps to pull up.  You can make that happen.  You know that someone in your family knows someone in another family who can make a call and ship the boots across town and it would not cost you nearly as much as you think and it really would take so little of your time to do so.  You have been blessed to benefit from legacy, scholarship, generational wealth and political influence, college educated parents, tutors, world travel, gated communities, AND your experience has not included food stamps, welfare, free lunch, public schools, public transportation, and maybe not even student loans.  However, we need YOU.  We need you to help us speak up in conversations where we have no voice, show up in places where we will not be invited, stand up for those who do not know they can or that they need to stand up for themselves.  We need YOU.  We need you to write policies and energize your colleagues to rally around issues that their children will never have to consider because of your hard work and privilege.  We need YOU. We need you to share your knowledge and leverage your relationships in ways that not only benefit your immediate constituency but that would also benefit those whose picture of liberty and justice for all is fading fast or is restricted to images that remind them that they are excluded because the pictures they see only look like you.
It’s me, it’s me, it’s WE, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.
BlogFam, for too long we have limited our perspective of JUSTICE to what our eyes see when we look at ourselves in the mirror, our family, our neighborhood. JUSTICE is so much more than you and me as individual citizens of this nation and of this world.  JUSTICE is acknowledging that WE all have a part to play in each other’s lives.  It’s me, it’s me, it’s WE, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer. And when we fully realize that it is WE who must FIGHT and CREATE opportunities for JUSTICE then I truly believe that this conversation can move forward in miraculous ways.  The Spirit of the Lord is upon ALL of us to dream, to believe, to think, to act, to have access, to educate, to speak, to live, to fight for and to create JUSTICE. WE are all responsible, those who are in need and those who can meet those needs and until the day we celebrate the image of God in each other, liberty and justice for ALL will only be a ME-thing and not a WE-thing.
It’s me, it’s me, it’s WE, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.
“The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for ALL, in common,will take you into eternity.” – Marcus Garvey
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