Blessed are the People of Color

This past week, I’ve spent everyday with 8-11 year olds at Vacation Bible School teaching from a curriculum titled: Hero Central. We learned, on Thursday, about those whom are blessed by God, found in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), of course. When I asked the kids to summarize the passage, one said enthusiastically, “All are blessed by God.” My fellow teacher and I glanced at each other, knowing that we just couldn’t let this sit and end our discussion. I responded, asking, “What kinds of people do you hear in this passage and who do you not?” At this point, I wish we would’ve heard Luke 6:20-26 of Jesus’ blessings and woes, since it’s more on the nose than Matthew’s. Anyway the discussion that followed was rough, but we learned eventually how God blesses the oppressed and marginalized, and children too. With this in mind and my attention focused on those living out their faith in Charlottesville by countering white supremacy with love, I’ve been thinking about where blessings and woes reside today. These are my thoughts:

Blessed are the People of Color who dwell in the US, for theirs is God’s Cosmic Reign of Hope and Justice.
Blessed are the antiracists and peace-doers, for they shall bring forth a new world.
Blessed are those filled with rage at injustice, for they are the passion of God.

Woe to you white supremacists, for your reign has ended.
Woe to you apathetic moderates, for you have left the world to burn.
Woe to you without a vision for a better world, for you have lost all hope.

I have been and will be praying for those standing in the way of racism, white supremacy, fascism, and nazism in Charlottesville. A peaceful world is possible, but we must not tolerate an utterance of these horrid views. They have no place in Christianity, in the US, or the world. May we struggle in love, stand in peace, and reach out to those around us with compassion and joy.