Today's Text: Mark 2.1-12
Teaching Link: People Jesus Met: The Paralytic
On this, Martin Luther King Junior Day, let us remember a relatively unknown woman who stood with and up for her brothers and sisters and agains in equality and injustice - Anne Braden
While attending a church youth group to discuss “the Negro problem—which is what everybody called it if they talked about it at all,” said Braden, “I made some mild comment that it seemed to me people ought to be treated equal no matter what color they were. And I can remember people looking a little startled and then somebody coming up to me later and saying, ‘You shouldn't say things like that, people will think you're a communist.’ ”
Braden was also accused of betraying her race. Her first arrest—for protesting the execution of black man she believed wrongly convicted of rape—was in 1951. At the jail, she was threatened by a policeman. “He got absolutely furious,” said Braden. “It's the whole traitor thing. He said, ‘And you're in here, and you're a southerner, and you're on this thing!?’ And he turned around like he was going to hit me, but he didn't because this other cop stopped him…All of a sudden that was a very revealing moment to me. All of my life police had been on my side. I didn't think of it that way, but police didn't bother you, you know, in the world where I grew up. All of a sudden I realized that I was on the other side. He had said, ‘You're not a real southern woman.’ And I said, ‘No, I guess I'm not your kind of southern woman.’ "
“An older, African American leader that I respected highly told me I had to make a choice: be a part of the world of the lynchers or join the Other America—of people from the very beginning of this country who opposed injustice, and especially opposed racism and slavery. [He told me] I could be a part of that—that it existed today and offered me a home to live in."
“I felt like, well, that’s what I wanna be a part of. And so it was a very real concept to me all my life and still is. It is the present incarnation of the movement for social change in my time, but it’s also the connection with a past and a future. [It’s] like you’re part of a long chain of struggle that was here long before you were here, and it’s gonna be here long after you’re gone. And that gives life a meaning.”
Questions for Reflection
What does it mean to have faith on behalf of others?
Has there been a time when you had lost faith, and were forced to rely on the belief of others?
What would it look like to:
-Care for the poor
-Speak for the voiceless
-Stand up for the excluded
-Shake the whole structure!