A Call to the Prophets

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As I sit here contemplating the magnitude of pain associated with the sinister act of terrorism the world experienced yesterday I am more convinced than ever that religious dialogue must reclaim its prophetic voice. Manchester may have been the site of a bombing, but what ails this society cannot be limited to a specific act or location. There is a cancerous evil eating away at the fabric of our global community. This violent lovelessness experienced as terrorism, extreme capitalism, imperialism, and a host of other social ills is fueled in part by extreme religious fundamentalism in multiple faith traditions.  Extreme fundamentalism can be identified in any religion by a fixation on specific concepts, rituals, and forms of conduct and thereby is not the sole burden of any one particular faith tradition (Soelle 2001).  I am left in my musing with a call for prophetic voices who will both decry the current state of abysmal folly and paint for us a picture of a preferable future.

My own faith tradition is full of prophets of one sort or another, but has failed miserably in its ability to remain true to the prophetic paradigm of its founder. A prophet is person who threatens culture’s power structure by holding up a mirror to its folly and showing where such folly leads (Pearce 2002). However, a true prophet does not stop there, it is their task to then forecast and proclaim an image of the future where the present impediments to human flourishing cease to be. This in the end is what Christian faith as a prophetic religion is all about—being of God, for the sake of human flourishing (Volf 2011).  Whether Christian or not, “God,” in religious consciousness, names that power which is the foundation not only of existence, but of liberation, enlightenment, and healing (Farley 1990). The prophetic voice always points people Godward.

In our churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, and other houses of worship have we truly made room for the prophetic voice? Prophets take risks and speak out in righteous indignation against society’s treatment of the poor, even risking their lives, because courage is the primary test of prophesy. In some sectors of faith communities people who mysteriously and magically call out phone numbers or tell of new cars are calling themselves prophets, but this totally misses the mark of the true prophetic voice. Prophets understand that suffering is the inevitable fate of those who stand up to the forces of hatred (Cone 2011). Suffering or not, we must stand up and we must make communities where standing up to injustice is not just the norm, but the required. A prophet and a prophetic people will speak back to the interlocking systems of our world’s politic by lifting the voices of those most marginalized by the insidious nature of imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchal norms. Each community will have to ask itself, what ways are we inviting and welcoming prophetic inspiration in our fellowship, music, teaching, preaching, and even Eucharistic moments?

Because religion in many spheres has been hijacked by hate, we who are justice-loving religious practitioners must provide prophetic insight not limited to what injustice looks like, we must engage a narrative of justice loving.  Salvation can no longer be solely the work of inward calmness or an invisible cure in the afterworld, it must engage a more just and humane here and now.  We must become godlike by entering the depths of pain and oppression and working to liberate humanity from all human evils (Hopkins 1999).  Prophetic work must focus on salvation, which is both to be saved from oppressive systems of domination and to be saved to self-love and the ethic of neighbor love. Our world is looking for prophets who will speak of an eschatological moment where the Kindom of God comes for all the wretched of the earth. The world longs for prophetic voices that recognize the DNA of our thinking, those powerful and pervasive prejudgments based on race, gender, sexuality, and religious constructs that comprise an active epistemic framework affecting what we see and how we engage the world are all bending toward new realities (Kornegay 2013).  May our houses of worship become the epicenter of prophetic declarations of goodwill and peace on earth.

Peace Is Possible,

+Donalson

 

Bishop Edward Donalson, III | Director of Liturgy and Worship | Assistant Clinical Professor
SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY AND MINISTRY | SEATTLE UNIVERSITY

Works Cited

Cone, James. 2011. The Cross and The Lynching Tree. Maryknoll: Orbis.

Farley, Wendy. 1990. Tragic Vision and Divine Compassion: A Contemporary Theodicy. Louisville: John Knox Publishing.

Hopkins, Dwight N. 1999. Introducing Black theology of Liberaton . Maryknoll: Orbis Books.

Jr., El Kornegay. 2013. A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin’s Blues Project and Gospel Prose. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Pearce, Joseph Clinton. 2002. The Biology of Transcendence: A Blueprint of the Human Spirit. Rochester: Park Street press.

Soelle, Dorothee. 2001. The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Volf, Miroslav. 2011. A Pulic Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good . Grand Rapids: Brazos Press.

 

Worship & Liturgy Announcements

Graduation Reflections

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Over the course of the next few weeks seminaries and schools of theology across the nation will be holding graduations. Sending out into the world people who are academically trained as theologians and ministry practitioners, these institutions will begin preparing for a new group of eager minds to mold. I am curious as I contemplate this season of transition, whether these students have been prepared to face the challenges of ministry in our present global sociopolitical context.

Anyone who follows my work knows that I am particularly concerned with imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy and the ways in which interlocking systems of marginalization continue to collude to further disenfranchise a multitude of people. A quick glance at my work will reveal a strong cultural critique from a liberative lens, but what may not be a clear is my deep concern for tradition, legacy, and heritage. I do not hold a socially progressive lens in polarity to a deeply traditioned orientation, I see the two engaged in a sacred dance requiring each to hold tension with the other. Seminarians are graduating into a crisis that falls in the midst of that sacred tension; I fear many do not know it.

Our global community is in a time of unrest. The sociopolitical realities across the world are creating a common existential crisis. From Brexit, to the election of Donald Trump, to hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, humanity is wrestling with the very foundations of safety and human flourishing. At the same time religious education has focused its attention on preparing students for job placement after graduation. Often at the expense of deep education of the soul many seminaries are offering shallow schooling of the mind.  This education versus schooling is in my opinion held by many institutions as a binary construct that favors a false dichotomy of  head over heart.  The need for institutions to be financially sustainable has put unjust pressure on them to fill seats and sometimes the filling of seats disallows the filling of hearts.

As a Bishop and educator, I would like to invite us into a deeper exploration beyond binaries.  Here at Seattle University the faculty and staff are constantly in dialogue around how to provide students with education that is formation oriented while preparing them for real-world job placement. My own bias says that the School of Theology and Ministry is doing a stellar job of living into that tension. Nevertheless, I am deeply troubled as I take in the national landscape of religious education.

I believe viable theology has a reciprocal relationship with the community with which it interacts, and the current sociopolitical climate of the global community demands extensive education in liberation theology with a resistance edge.  The principal insight of liberation theology insists that redemption is not only the rescue of certain individuals for eternal life in another world, but the fulfillment of all humanity in the political and social realities of this world  (McFague 1987). A spirituality of resistance implies that if an oppressed people have pride in their own culture and heritage, as well as the knowledge that they are children of God, then they will not be as vulnerable to the oppressive structures, systems, and ideologies that attempt to convince them that they are nobody, and that their lives are not worth living (Douglas 1994).

The Kindom of God is neither the thesis of individual enterprise nor the antithesis of collective enterprise, but a synthesis that reconciles the truth of both (King 2015). If seminaries and schools of theology are to indeed prepare graduates to find gainful employment while building a more just and human world, it is my opinion that they must redouble their efforts and commitment to teaching through a liberation lens, in a world where so many are so broken by so few. To the class of 2017, may you indeed be empowered to live the Spirit in the world!

Peace Is Possible,

+Donalson

 

Bishop Edward Donalson, III | Director of Liturgy and Worship | Assistant Clinical Professor
SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY AND MINISTRY | SEATTLE UNIVERSITY

Works Cited

Douglas, Kelly Brown. 1994. The Black Christ. MaryKnoll: Orbis Books.

King, Martin Luther. 2015. The Radical King. Edited by Cornel West. Boston: Beacon Press.

McFague, Sallie. 1987. Models of God: Theology for an Ecological, Nuclear Age. Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

 

 

 

Worship & Liturgy Announcements

The Invitation and Danger of The Internet

Globe-in-hand

We live in a world which has been made microscopic by the advent of the internet and even more so by social media. For those of us who tweet, the vastness of our humanities has been reduced to one hundred and forty characters. People and their experience have been truncated to FaceBook statuses and Instagram posts. Much of who we are is subjected to “likes” by followers or “friends.” With the great majority, we share no actual lived experience. This is our new normal; and what it means to be “in community” has changed. Social media platforms are in some ways our new congregations.

As we think about our current worship communities in the technological age, we must be acutely aware that at any moment a snippet of our liturgy, or the full liturgy, may be captured online and shared across the world. In that moment the world will make a decision about who we are and what we represent.  Cell phones and other recording devices abound in every congregation, at all times. It would be wise to give attention to that truth as we think through our liturgical moments.

Are our liturgies capacious enough to hold and honor the diversity of a vast audience? There are questions that must be asked of all of our congregations such as; do we still sing songs that lyrically privilege whiteness on a color hierarchy?  That is not just a question for white mainline protestant churches alone. Oppression sickness has so infiltrated all of Christendom that Black, Asian, and Indigenous congregations are all steeped in hymnody that is damaging to the collective psyche.  It is internalized oppression when any group thinks the same way about themselves as the oppressor. This leads to oppression sickness that causes the oppressed to mimic the oppression of the oppressor.  The effort to mimic dominant culture has greatly infected many church traditions with classism, sexism, heteroprivilege and more. Unfortunately, inferior feeling groups often seek to make someone else more inferior (Flunder 2005). The result of this sickness is that we lack the moral tenacity and vigilance to self-critique our enculturated expressions of worship.

We must interrogate our liturgies to discover where we both portray and betray the Gospel message. I shudder to think of the microaggressions, microassualts, and micoinvalidations that our congregations may unintentionally be transmitting to the world via our social media and our other online presence. The church in our time must be very mindful of ideological hegemony. Ideological hegemony is descriptive of those systems of practices, meanings, and values which provide legitimacy to the dominant society’s institutional arrangements and interest (Yarber 2015). It is easy for us to become blind to our own insensitivity when we are not diligent in checking our own privilege and our own lenses.

The internet offers religion an opportunity to craft a new narrative. For far too many, religion has been the coping mechanism, or human response to the trauma of self-consciousness; designed to keep internal and external hysteria under control. Because of this function of religion as the security system of human life, many have been guilty of shaping God and worship after their own image (Spong 1998). We can change this limited and limiting portrayal of religion by creating liturgical moments informed by a theology which is a self-conscious awareness that all of us can be God bearers and life givers—and that our deepest religious task is to give ourselves away.

In this sense the church must itself play the role of rescuer by reaching out to those who seem to be marginalized and dispossessed.  We human beings cannot incorporate all that we are into wholeness by ourselves; we need community. The primary task of the faith community then is to assist in the creation of wholeness (Spong 2001). Our online presence then is to be the place where each person is nurtured into being. Every facet of our liturgical process, which can at any moment be captured and transmitted to the world, must be consumed with honoring the Divine by making room for all of God’s beloved community. Ask yourself today “is my worship community ready for the world?”

 

Peace Is Possible,

+Donalson

 

Bishop Edward Donalson, III | Director of Liturgy and Worship | Assistant Clinical Professor
SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY AND MINISTRY | SEATTLE UNIVERSITY

Works Cited

Flunder, Yvette A. 2005. Where the Edge Gathers: Building a Community of Radical Inclusion. Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press.

Spong, John Shelby. 2001. A New Christianity For A New World. New York: Harper Collins.

—. 1998. Why Christianity Must Change or Die. New York: HarperSanFrancisco.

Yarber, Cody J. Sanders & Angela. 2015. Microaggressions in Ministry: Confronting the Hidden Violence of Everyday Church. Louisville : Westminister John Knox Press.

 

 

 

 

Worship & Liturgy Announcements

Center for Religious Wisdom and World Affairs

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This week Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry will convene the inaugural symposium of The Center for Religious Wisdom and World Affairs.  Everyone on campus is infused with a palpable excitement about the collaboration of faculty, students, staff, scholars and religious leaders from around world and their engagement of the subject of homelessness. The Center synthesizes three resources – civically engaged academic scholarship, faith-based action and theological education.  It seeks to help faith-based leaders and activists become more thoughtful in their social action; scholars to become more relevant in their research and attentive to practical application of their thought; and students to learn from this interchange and become smart and effective “public” theologians capable of presenting the wisdom of religious traditions to the broader community.

 

As we move into the launch of this new and innovative endeavor I am curious about whether or not our liturgies in our faith communities take seriously this idea of religious wisdom engaging world affairs?  Does the hymnody of the week speak to the news cycle of that week, while at the same time address the broad existential realities of the human condition?  Is the preaching informing a response to moral questions about the economy or military acts? If the church is a community of people bond together by their willingness to journey into the meaning and mystery of God, then should not our corporate worship experiences be directed toward the meaning of God as it relates to our present realities (Spong 2001)?  This work of engaging society in gospel values that the new center is undertaking should be a part of the work of every local congregation.

 

I believe our world would change drastically if only the wisdom found in our religious traditions was lifted to the forefront of public discourse. Postmodern culture is one where social identity is formed through mass –mediated images and where culture and economy have merged to form a single sphere (hooks 1990). The mass media dwells on and perpetuates an ethic of domination and violence because our image makers have more intimate knowledge of these realities than they have with the realities of love  (hooks 2000).  Every major religion has some teaching on self-love and neighbor love, these values alone have the potential of reshaping our world toward a more just and humane society.   If the work of the image makers was informed by a love ethic they would consider it important to think critically about the images they are creating. The shape of our culture would be completely different if religion and its values began to inform how we think and act in everyday life.

Eric Lincoln suggests that viable religion has a working reciprocity with the culture that produces it or with which it interacts (Lincoln 1984). What causes us to be a church, synagogue, mosque, or temple that is alive, vibrant, and engaged in relevant work, is our ability to present a clear message of how our spiritual tradition offers a preferable picture of society. We become prophetic as a people when we threaten culture’s power structure by holding up a mirror to its folly and showing where such folly leads (Pearce 2002). There is a need to revitalize the prophetic witness of religion in today’s culture, and endeavors such as The Center for Religious Wisdom and World Affairs are powerful answers to that call. I wonder what it would look like for our local congregations to engage the work of public witness in ways that lift gospel values to the forefront of public discourse?  How would the sociopolitical landscape of our cities, states and country be different if we took seriously the task of emphasizing in the commons the best values and norms of our various religious traditions? This week as you contemplate the liturgical life of your local community I invite you to ask these and other questions that will spur an active engagement in the betterment of the world.

 

Peace Is Possible,

+Donalson

 

Bishop Edward Donalson, III | Director of Liturgy and Worship | Assistant Clinical Professor
SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY AND MINISTRY | SEATTLE UNIVERSITY
 

Works Cited

hooks, bell. 2000. All About Love: New Visions. New York: HarperCollins.

—. 1990. Yearning: Race, Gender and Cultural Politics. Boston: South End Press.

Lincoln, C.Eric. 1984. Race, Religion, and the Continuing American Dilemma. New York: Hill and Wang.

Pearce, Joseph Clinton. 2002. The Biology of Transcendence: A Blueprint of the Human Spirit. Rochester: Park Street press.

Spong, John Shelby. 2001. A New Christianity For A New World. New York: Harper Collins.

 

 

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Liturgies of Resistance

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Any liturgical moment that intentionally decenters imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy as norm and gives voices from the margins room to speak is a liturgy of resistance. Practicing Christians are identified by their involvement with the symbols of particular Christian traditions. There are many Christianities based on the many engagements with ancient text. These ways of being Christian are lived through the patterned symbolic activity that we call ritual or liturgy. It is our liturgies that embody the main theological teachings of our traditions (Empereur 2002). This is the place where the conversation begins for my upcoming course at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry. As we consider the one set of interlocking political systems that are foundational to our nation’s politics; and we live in a political climate where so much of our populace is being impacted by the collision and/or collusion of these systems, those of us who take ecclesiology seriously must create spaces where resistance takes center stage (hooks 2004). Liturgy is about ritual; it is about holy actions. Christian liturgy is particularly a volunteer gathering of diverse people in local communities enacting a shared vision that always carries public meaning (Lathrup 1993).

Our worship gatherings are some of America’s most intense moments of ritual. Ritual provides the actions and forms through which people meet, carry out social activities, celebrate, and commemorate (Empereur 2002). In this way liturgy lends itself to be a site of prophetic resolve or resistance. I believe that the heart of the gospel is found in Jesus’ message of radical welcome; he consistently identifies with those on the margins. This message of liberation is a prophetic critique of the society which Jesus encountered as well as the world we face today. The tasks of our liturgies, then, is to empower the community of those gathered to engage the principles of Jesus message of liberation. In this way the church becomes a real, visible, embodied presence of Christ’s body in the world, i.e., the sacramental presence of God on earth as it is in Heaven (Pecknold 2010).

We live in an epoch that demands a countercultural prophetic critique of the systems of domination that threaten to hamper human flourishing. Our liturgical moments must involve the transformation of cultural patterns that idolize the self or the local group at the expense of a wider humanity, or give central place to the acquisition of wealth at the expense of the care of the earth and its poor (Wilkey 2014). Our conversation on May 30-June 2 will focus on strategies of resistance from the past and present, with an eye toward the future. Whether it be the music selection, the text for preaching, or the drama presentation in your local church context, each can be a transformative countercultural moment of resistance. Often our resistance is as simple as changing the lyrics of a hymn that excludes our siblings based on gender or that dismisses our siblings based on race. Our resistance can be as profound as changing the bread we serve at the moment of communion. Wherever we discover systems of oppression, domination, or subjugation that marginalize, disenfranchise, and alienate people from experiencing the fullness of human flourishing, the Church is called to rituals of resistance. This week ask yourself and your worship planning team in what way will our liturgy allow the suffering to speak?

Peace Is Possible,
+Donalson

Bishop Edward Donalson, III | Director of Liturgy and Worship | Assistant Clinical Professor
SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY AND MINISTRY | SEATTLE UNIVERSITY

Works Cited
Empereur, James L. 2002. Spiritual Direction and the Gay Person. New York: The Continuum Publishing Company.
hooks, bell. 2004. The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love. New York: Washington Square Press.
Lathrup, Gordon W. 1993. Holy Things. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.
Pecknold, C.C. 2010. Christianity nd Politics: A Brief Guide to History. Eugene: Cascade Books.
Wilkey, Gláucia Vasconcelos, ed. 2014. Worship and Culture: Foreign Country or Homeland. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

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The Cross and the Resurrection

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For millions around the world this week marks the apex of the Christian calendar. This Sunday is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, also known as Easter. In many circles there is much contention about the association that Easter may have with pagan celebrations or the Jewish holiday of Passover;, however, the Council of Nicaea settled the formula for determining the date of Easter in 325AD and completely Christianized the celebration, centering it in the Jesus narrative (Davidson 2005).

The story of the resurrection is central to the Christian faith and holds powerful imagery of possibility and potential. It is an invitation to radical newness and boundless hope that resonates with our shared human drive toward generativity. It beckons us to take seriously the mystery of life and the ways in which our lives are transitory. Resurrection is a consolation to Christians of the shared affirmation that death is not the end. Yet this radical newness comes at an expense; for with every resurrection there is a preceding death. This resurrection narrative speaks to us of a new embodiment; a new way of being human in the world.

The resurrection of Jesus is no exception; it is as expensive as it is glorious. The crucifixion of Jesus, commemorated this Friday and known as( Good Friday), is a horrific scene of epic proportions. It is described as that moment so disturbing that the sun refused to shine and God turned God’s self away so as not to behold the tragedy of the moment. The message and paradox of the cross and resurrection ground us in “deep time” – which encompasses all time, past and future, geological and cosmological, and not just our little time or culture. The deep time connection somehow orients the psyche, gives perspective, realigns us, and grounds us in a narrative of triumph over tragedy (Rohr 2011).

What unites the tragedy of the cross with the triumph of the resurrection is an inversion of the world’s value system; that is, with the news that hope comes by way of defeat, and suffering and death do not have the last word. The cross calls out our desire for justice— and the empty grave fulfills the requirement. The occupied execution tree and the empty tomb work together to show that even in the face of the worst of humanity’s worst behavior, there is always an unquenchable ontological thirst for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning (Cone 2011).

Life is a series of expanding frontiers. Every crossing is something of a death and resurrection (Spong 1993). A new way of being in the world requires a no to what was and a yes to the possibilities of what can be. In our current sociopolitical moment this sacred dance between the occupied cross and the empty tomb—which sees Jesus falsely imprisoned, undergo a sham of a trial, get convicted and sentenced to execution by torture,— exhibits the power of the resurrection with more potency than ever. Surely it is insanity in the face of massive evil and global destruction that we miss the opportunity to lift the hope of resurrection. As an American I am profoundly aware that of the American prison industrial complex holds the largest incarcerated population percentage of citizens in the free world and I ask myself and my faith community if we are holding hope this Easter for the resurrection of those we have labeled convicts? Is it possible that this Easter celebration we might take the bombings happening around the world, whether at the hands of citizens or governments, as an invitation to seek for new ways of being human in the world?

Peace Is Possible,
+Donalson

Bishop Edward Donalson, III | Director of Liturgy and Worship | Assistant Clinical Professor
SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY AND MINISTRY | SEATTLE UNIVERSITY

Works Cited
Cone, James. 2011. The Cross and The Lynching Tree. Maryknoll: Orbis.
Davidson, Ivor J. 2005. A Public Faith: From Constatine to the Medevil World. Grand Rapids: BakerBooks .
Rohr, Richard. 2011. Falling Upward. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Spong, John Shelby. 1993. This Hebrew Lord. New York: HarperOne.

Worship & Liturgy Announcements

Liberation Sunday, The Invitation of Palm Sunday

741bcd727efaaffcd7bd9581ef50216b_clipart-palm-sunday-graphic-clipart-palm-sunday_2400-1159This Sunday all over the world Christian churches will celebrate Palm Sunday. Some referring to it as the Triumphal Entry, it is the day we set aside to commemorate the final entry of Jesus and his disciples into the Holy city of Jerusalem. In many traditions churches will pass out Palms and people will sing songs of celebration. This is for some, one of the most festive times of the year where the church is decorated in special colors and other visual cues reminding congregants of majesty and glory of the Christian faith. For some there will be pomp and pageantry, and some may even present the celebration in ways that have imperial and militaristic undertones.

 

With all this celebration, I wonder if we are remembering anything at all? I wonder if in our time of celebration we take pause to consider the radical otherness of Jesus? Jesus was a member of a minority group in the midst of a larger dominant and controlling group. How many churches will remind congregants of the historical setting in which Jesus grew up, the psychological mood, or the economic and social predicament of Jesus’ family (Thurman 1976)? Are we in our congregations having discussions of the embodiment of Jesus who knew intimately refugee status, occupation and colonization, social regulation and control (Copeland 2010). Do we remember that the triumphant entry was a political satire? The Jewish people, the people of Jesus were not just trying to survive in terms of economic viability, they were in a fight for their culture and faith. Roman military intimidation and brutality coupled with Herodian economic exploitation and taxation uprooted and displaced people from their land, forced them into debt, and occupations less than what was indicative of their capacity. This celebration of Palms was a genius and most creative act of resistance. This was a clear moment where an oppressed people exercised self-determination. The Romans were famous for their parades of militaristic might, oft times amidst Jewish feasts and celebrations and here is Jesus mocking the horses and chariots of Rome while the whole Jewish community came out to cheer!  Here he who is born in poverty unhinges the relationship between the underpriviledged and the privileged. Here in this moment without wealth or military might, Jesus becomes a King by being proximate with those who are on the underside of power.

 

In this time when so many people in our world are suffering under the interlocking sociopolitical systems of imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy a fresh look at the person and work of Jesus may be precisely what we need (hooks 2004). Perhaps this year we are being invited to turn our celebrations from spectacles into deep rituals by lifting up the radical nonnormativity of Jesus. Ritual is that ceremonial act that carries with it meaning and significance beyond what appears, while spectacle functions primarily as entertaining dramatic display (hooks 1992). This may hurt our liberal sense of erasure by forcing us to actually see those members of our communities who are disinherited. This may injure our conservative pietistic ego’s need to hyper-spiritualize the memory of Jesus. This is an invitation that may cost us.  Liberation theologies of all sorts have focused on reformulated patterns of communal ritual as one primary bearer of the hope of liberation; perhaps this Sunday in our churches can be for us Liberation Sunday (Lathrup 1993). A holy Sunday of resistance; the kind of resistance that takes seriously the person and work of Jesus. My prayer is that in each celebration the church will find a way to offer the exploited and oppressed a vision of freedom that is linked to the struggle to end systems of domination in the world.

 

Peace Is Possible,

+Donalson

 

Bishop Edward Donalson, III | Director of Liturgy and Worship | Assistant Clinical Professor SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY AND MINISTRY | SEATTLE UNIVERSITY

 

Works Cited

Copeland, M. Shawn. 2010. Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

hooks, bell. 1992. Black Looks: Race and Representation. Boston: South End Press.

—. 2004. The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love. New York: Washington Square Press.

Lathrup, Gordon W. 1993. Holy Things. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Thurman, Howard. 1976. Jesus and the Disinherited. Boston: Beacon Press.

 

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