If our faith is only about spiritual fulfillment and community, then we are a part of the problem, not the solution. Our job is to, day by day, gradually conform our lives and our churches to the way of Jesus, asking how we can leverage our resources, our privilege, and our power each day for the good of those on the margins. In the church, these conversations should take place at every level, from small groups of laypeople to the board and staff. What would it look like if church members began hosting a Eucharist meal every week in the church and invited absolutely everyone to come and gather for a free meal – no strings attached? What would it look like if the church committed to cut spending and increase giving to ensure that 50 percent of the monthly income was going out the door and into the community? What if the church worked to ensure that its campus was being used seven days a week by freely offering it to justice groups, activists, artists, and entrepreneurs to organize, educate, and create?
Doing these things is not intended to increase our sense of faithfulness – they only scratch the surface of what’s truly required of us. But such sacrificial actions enable us to tap into a new kind of power – we are not reliant on government or politicians or agencies to create the change we know is needed in our world. Instead, we become the change agents. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t engage politically – we very much should. But our power is in utilizing our resources and our privilege for others, which is something that political leaders can only aspire to do. We cannot wait for the world to change. We should not wait for the political process to unfold. If we are truly to harness the power that comes from the proclamation “Jesus Christ is Lord,” then we must be willing to take into our own hands the ultimate responsibility of renewing our world by working alongside God to heal and redeem the world.
From “Filled to Be Emptied: The Path to Liberation for Privileged People” by Brandan Robertson – Westminster John Knox Press