Scripture: Psalm 119:137-144
I recall Martin Luther’s speech “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution” given at the National Cathedral, March 31, 1968. Here, Luther emphasized the idea that; “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” The hope that we shall overcome is a common theme reflected in our songs, poems and artwork. Overcoming; according to Luther can be a journey on a long hard road but it leans towards justice. The Essence of slavery and oppression, and even the ecocide facing our common home, are all realities that will eventually lead toward justice.
Not to disagree with Luther, but, I don’t believe that the hope for a better future should be in a simple ‘hope’ that things will eventually get better because the Universe is good. Rather, it is a working progress. Perhaps, hope for Luther worked for him in his century, but our hope should be one that transforms the reality. I think Greta Thunberg encapsulates this well when she says; “If your hope rests on some almost burnt out teenagers doing this after school… well then there’s not much hope. We need to build hope, and we do that with people joining the movement.”
The thought that hope should be built, is marvelously profound. If we should just sit back in hope while the church and society oppresses the poor, murders the innocent, and endangers our planet, then it is no hope at all. Supposing I were to tweak with the extract and say that it was your son, daughter or brother trapped in a predicament, and I wish you hope, that all goes well. It would be better to shut my mouth if I don’t take into regard any action.
In this sense, we have to disturb ourselves to action and truth. This particular psalm reflect an understanding that we must become zealous for Christ because God is reflected in our righteousness.
– Christopher Latchman
Guyana Presbyterian Church (Caribbean), Dorim Presbyterian Church (Korea)
Disturb us lord, that we may trouble your society for a just world for all. We pray for zeal and hope in our divided world. Show us hope in the midst of trouble, that we carry a cross of direction. In the ways that we have been complacent, deliver us and mend our wounds. Teach us to repent and become the righteousness of God in our common world.
We pray for justice and peace. Amen.
Image credit: Malia Vaurasi, Hands of Resistance, Fiji, 2021