“Without a moral or spiritual awakening, we will remain forever trapped in political games fueled by fear, greed, and the hunger for power.” – Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
“Can we swim together in the same pool or not? It’s a political question, yes, and one with economic ramifications. But at its core, it’s a moral question. Ultimately, an economy – the rules we abide by and set for what’s fair and who merits what – is an expression of our moral understandings. So, if our country’s moral compass is broken, is it any wonder that our economy is adrift?” – Heather McGhee, The Sum of Us
We live in a country that is not only founded on violence but is also founded on lies, and they go hand-in-hand. Lies lead to violence, and violence leads to lies; it’s a vicious circle of moral ineptitude. We have lied about our history, we have lied about the supremacy of white people, we have lied about the inferiority of black and brown people. We have recently had a president who lied at a rate unprecedented in our history. His lies led to violence on Jan. 6, 2021.
We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves; is that even possible as we swim in centuries of lies and violence? Are we a nation that is spiritually and morally bankrupt? I’m not always sure.
And there is hope. And we are that hope. Lent for me is a time for self-reflection. A reflection not only on my personal failures and sins, but also a reflection on my participation in our communal and systemic failures and sins.
Grant us God, the wisdom to see our failures. The courage to change, and willingness to work to make our city, our state, our country, and our world a better place for all people and for all of creation. Amen.