Today’s Word: ‘All’ as in… liberty and justice for all.

First my dad, now my mom is on my mind. I’ve been wondering what Joyce would have thought about not only the ‘state of the State’ but what in the world is going on in the world. I can hear her saying it even now: “Lord, have mercy!” She would have really meant that.

In my last post I recalled my dad’s disdain for an organization that refused to admit to membership a good friend of his based on his skin color. Even as a kid it seemed ludicrous that “Because he’s black” could be a reason for anyone not being able to do anything anywhere. It’s unconscionable that the same thing is still happening today. The necessary, difficult and even exhausting work of self-reflection, what our friends in the recovering community would call “the searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves” is taking me back to the faith community where the values of “liberty and justice for all” were integral to faith formation. It was that same faith community that was able to fully embrace our black friends that was simultaneously unable to fully embrace women in leadership.

Sure, mothers and sisters could teach Sunday School and work on various committees. But serving as elected leaders was “not allowed” simply because they were women. Neither was serving the bread at communion. Once again, wait, what?

In the Gospels, women are integral to the entire Jesus movement. Jesus praised his sisters for the ways they made the Kingdom of God a reality on earth as in heaven. As Jesus took his last breaths on the cross, the men ran for their lives while the women stood by faithfully sharing both the bread and the cup of that horrendous moment. What’s more, it was the women who were the first to witness the meaning of the resurrection: “Everything will be different from now on!”

Liberty and justice for all means freedom and equity for everyone – no exceptions.

Sisters, get the bread and the wine.

Christ is present. Lord, have mercy!


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