Posted by: Renee | January 21, 2013

I Will Not Keep Silent

– by Sophia Agtarap, ReThink Church, minister of online engagement-

to read complete blog post click here

…This God. Our God of the poor, of the afflicted, the enslaved, the abused, the outcast tells Israel–tells us today, of our chosennes. That not in spite of, but because of who we are, we are singled out and selected. Called God’s own. God’s preferred. God’s delight.

Who are they in our midst? Who are the silenced, the marginalized? What do they look like?

It is and always will be God’s consistent love that calls us in and through these times when we are tired of singing the same song. But we are, as God’s people and agents of change, called to be prophets in our time. We are called to sing those songs and issue those invitations to wholeness. To God’s shalom, until their voices, too are recognized.It is our charge to continue raising our voices for those who are not here, who haven’t found their place at the table, maybe for those who haven’t even been born but will be born into a world not ready to receive them.

Poet and activist, Audre Lorde, wrote:

I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood…

She believed that our silence would not protect us; would not save us. She spent her life calling marginalized people in the LGBT community from the outskirts and closets to come and speak out and share the truth.  Our silence will not save us.

Larry Hollon, General Secretary of United Methodist Communications speaks of this silence in the context of  the absence of the voice of the mainline church regarding issues of justice and openness and inclusiveness. “Clearly, we have abdicated our responsibility to participate in the conversation where it is taking place.” We have left this conversation to someone else. We have been silent.

Our silence doesn’t let us off the hook, either. If we don’t speak, the exclusion that plagues our world and our church will not go away, for we are called to be the standard bearers of God’s justice and mercy, not those who settle for what’s convenient. And when we are working for justice, it will almost always seem inconvenient.

Those who have been cast off will be brought back. They will be given a new name and a new identity. Beloved. God’s delight.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote:

Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.

 As we go forth as people called and chosen, may we also remember to continue to call others out from the closets and margins and hiding places where they find themselves or where they have been placed, reminding them that God is a God of love who will not keep silent. Who will not rest until all God’s people have found a sense of belonging and their hope restored. Amen.

 

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