Living Easter Politically

In Easter living, we recognize that Jesus was a political (not partisan) figure. Jesus spoke up for human rights by healing the sick, protecting the vulnerable, and giving dignity to outcasts. He challenged the people in power who oppressed the people in the margins. The kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed belongs to peacemakers, the grieving, the meek, the poor in spirit, those who fight for righteousness, not the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the complacent. This kingdom needs our voice to fight for love, equality, peace, justice, kindness, and compassion, to lay down our power so that the power is shared among all people. Here are ways we can take political action in the United States and across the globe.

 

Register to Vote

The biggest reason we end up in crisis and with legislation that doesn’t represent our beliefs is because we don’t vote! Millenials, we especially need to do better! It’s our civic duty to show up and vote, even if not all of our candidates are ideal. We get better candidates by being more active voters! See the above link to see what is required for voter registration in your state. Get registered early! And vote in all your elections. All are important. See the link below to see what elections are happening near you soon. I can’t stress enough how it important it is to show up and VOTE!

Upcoming Elections

Doctors Without Borders

Everyone deserves medical care, and around the world there are famines, civil wars, and natural disasters where people need medical care. Doctors Without Borders responds to these emergencies to help the injured and the sick. This is a form of peacemaking when we respond to these disasters, and your donation can truly help people in war-torn countries.

Amnesty International

Disappearances, armed conflict, detention, death penalty, torture, indigenous people, and numerous other worldwide causes are all part of the human rights that Amnesty International fights for. When journalists go missing, when LGTBQ+ people are imprisoned, when people are kidnapped in civil wars Amnesty has petitions, lobbyists, and protesters ready to fight for human rights. You can donate, volunteer, and sign dozens of petitions to help people to be treated humanely in the face of injustice and death.

Write and Call

What would you like to see in America right now? Affordable health care? Immigration reform? Living wages? Rights, protections, and equality for women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, immigration, and all people who are oppressed? Legislation to fight the housing crisis? Ending gun violence? Better benefits for veterans? Your elected officials are there to represent your concerns within the government. So put them to work! Send emails and give them a call regarding your concerns. If you’re like me and you freeze up on the phone, go ahead and write a short script. Be polite. Introduce yourself, and let them know the issue you’re calling about. Tell them how you would like them to vote and take action on the matter, and thank them for their time. Your voice makes a difference! This is how our leaders know what their people are thinking.  Use the link above to find the contact information of your elected officials.

Revelation 21:1-6
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.

Living Easter

Easter is not over, it’s just entering its second week. It’s really easy to slip out of Lent, a time of discipline and fasting, celebrate the holiday of Easter and then move on. Especially after more shootings in California and Baltimore, Jesus’ victory over death seems to lose its savor. But as Atlanta Terence Lester based activist explains, when nothing seems to change around us, then we have to change our selves and our own communities. Our actions seem small, but they are a start. If more and more people were to be encouraged to be brave enough to keep trying, then change would be evident. This is how we live into the resurrection and keep the celebration going. This is how we live into the kingdom of God that Jesus spent all of his time telling us about. During the weeks of Easter leading to Pentecost, a time in the church when we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit with tongues of fire, I will be sharing practices I have adopted and other practices that can be used for change around us. This week I am sharing small, easy, practical things we can do in our every day life.

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  1. I don’t always have cash on me, and when I do it’s for a specific reason, so I can’t really afford to give it away. So when I am approached by people who are looking for money I try to carry something else on me instead: I carry a small water bottle and a snack, like a pack of crackers and a granola bar, so I can offer them something. Often people could use some sustenance. If they don’t want it, they don’t have to take it and I can wish them a good day. A compassionate interaction, even if our help is limited, can really change how we as a society see and treat people who are in need of help.
  2. Keep your change! At the end of the year you can roll it up, put it in the bank, and cut a check to donate it as a gift to a charity of your choice. Or my denomination has an initiative known as “10 cents a meal” (can also be known as “Pennies for Hunger or “Cents-ability”) where every 10 cents buys a meal for a person in need. People in our churches save their change each month to bring it to church to donate.
  3. It you have a few extra bucks to spend at the store and you’re tempted to get some canned food, first do a few minutes of research. First, find out what charities, shelters, kitchens, and other nonprofits are local to you. Second, go to their website and find out what they are specifically looking for. Often places like these are looking for feminine products, underwear, baby wipes, and socks. Find out their specific needs and try to fill those instead of giving cans of green beans and corn. Only donate those food items if a food pantry specifically asks for them.

These suggestions are just a small start! I am trying out all of them, especially the first one. If you think of something helpful, share it with others! Just make sure that you’ve done your research and that these acts are going to be helpful and not just seem helpful to make us feel good. It’s about making change, not a pat on our back for doing something. Next week I will talk about volunteering time. Let’s keep the resurrection victory moving in our daily lives this Eastertide.

Revelation 1:4-8
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

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