I really do hope that you have taken a moment to go read the Mad Priest's sermon at "Of Course, I Could Be Wrong." It is powerful and relevant and thought-provoking in light of yesterday's gospel reading from Mark where Jesus utters the most difficult directive to "Take up your cross, and follow me." This is one of those passages that is liable to put a lump in your throat because the image of "bearing one's cross" calls up the march to a crucifixion on Calvary. Yikes!
But waking up this morning, what was rolling around in my head were the last three lines from the Mark gospel:
"For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."--Mark 8: 35-38
As I prepare for next Monday's march and rally at the Capitol for my rights as a lesbian in Florida, I am hearing the words of Christ as a clarion call because I am not just rallying for myself alone. And I'm not just showing up as a gay person. I am showing up as a Christian and as one who can not take standing by and watching this "adulterous and sinful generation" continue to oppress people. Monday the 16th it will be about gay rights... but there are rallies happening almost every day here in Tallahassee: today it's farm workers, another group that suffers dearly from exploitation. And Thursday, it's another protest about the cuts to education which are costing local school districts millions of dollars; thus guaranteeing a generation of children lacking in the basic building blocks that will help them to get jobs and compete in the global marketplace.
For too long, the state legislature has been deaf to the needs of the population, preferring to look only at the constituencies that throw them the big welcome party the night before session starts (Yes, I am talking about Associated Industries of Florida!).
I can not sit back and be silent. None of us can sit back and be silent. We must speak truth to power... even if it means losing your life, if not a literal sense, in a figurative sense.
Take up your cross
let not its weight
fill your weak spirit with alarm;
his strength shall bear your spirit up,
and brace your heart and nerve your arm
Take up your cross,
and follow Christ,
nor think till death to lay it down;
for only those who bear the cross
may hope to wear the glorious crown.
Hymn 675, 1982 Hymnal