Prophetic Resistance Newsletter: Holy Days Edition
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! God gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Oh, where’s your sting death? Oh, you ain’t got it, bro. Where’s your victory? Yo, you’ve been swallowed whole!”
Trip Lee, Gospel Rapper
As many of us in the Christian tradition prepare for Resurrection Sunday, we reflect on a God who doesn’t just sit high and look low, but dwells with those who are lowly. Our God is all knowing, all powerful and all able, yet at a time when our God was in tremendous pain, anguish and suffering, when Christ could have leaned into his Divinity, he chose instead to lean into his humanity.
This is a clear indication of the profound love that Christ has for us. It’s also a touch point to the power of humanity, even in its flaws, frailty and mortality. Christ’s incarnation and manifestation of humanity was a necessity in our salvation. While our sins crucified our Savior, God’s love conquered death and ensured a place with God for all of us.
We are in a major battle. We have fires, bombs and gunfire threatening and destroying sacred worship centers and worshipers, a U.S. presidential administration that seems to disregard the lives of many human beings, a Minnesota legislative session that attempts to repeal childcare, healthcare and the many public benefits that we need to help one another, and hate, anger and fear based on what people look like, how they pray, where they come from and who they love.
BUT, we also have LOVE on our side! The love that left a tomb empty and our relationship with God mended. A love that pushes for healthy, joyful, multi-racial, safe, loving, caring communities. A love that mandates us to be neighbors who are neighborly to the point where we can’t distinguish who’s family or friend. A love that doesn’t try to profit from illness, poverty or discrimination but has us use our collective resources to eradicate them.
We fight many battles. But love wins the war. Christ has concurred death and declared it finished. Christ reconciled us to God. We have the authority and honorable job of reconciling ourselves to one another. It is possible. We will win. God gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
A Glorious Resurrection Sunday to You and Yours!
“Establish justice, that is closer to piety and being mindful of Allah, indeed Allah is all aware of what you do.”
[Surah Ma’idah 5:8]
Ramadan, the holy month during which the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), is for Muslims a month of fasting, prayer, and meditation. The rituals of fasting and long night-vigil Tarawih prayers are meant to teach us self discipline, as we deny our bodies food in order to strengthen and feed our spirits.
Allah tells us exactly why we are fasting on this blessed month: “O you who have believed, fasting has been prescribed upon as it was prescribed upon those before you so that you may achieve piety” [surah Al Baqarah 2:183].
There is one amazing deed which Allah speaks about in the Qur’an and which takes us closer to piety – the very aim of Ramadan – establishing justice.
So along with our goals to increase our worship to achieve piety this Ramadan, we must also do the deeds that will get us closer to piety which is to revive justice. There is a dire need for justice and courage to achieve it. Currently in our state and even country, there are people violating the rights of immigrants, islamophobes scapegoating our community and others who want to cut much needed government services like childcare, affordable housing and healthcare just to feed the corporate hunger. They put profit before human dignity and welfare.
We must take the spirit of this Ramadan and re-dedicate ourselves to worship and establishment of justice with a renewed vigor, through our hunger and our sacrifices, we must remember those who go hungry simply because there is no food. We must remember those who are thirsty because there is pollution in their water. We must remember those who are without homes or mosques to take shelter in, and those who have even been deprived of their families due to their immigration status.
Allah says in the Quran: Have you seen him who denies the Final Judgement? Then such is the man who repulses the orphan (with harshness), And encourages not the feeding of the indigent. So woe to those praying ones, Who are careless of their prayers. Those who (want but) to be seen (of men). But refuse (to supply) (even) neighbourly needs.
Surat Al Ma’un is an admonition to all of us that acts of worship alone, such as daily prayer, are not the essence of piety. Rather, if we are sincere in our prayers and make them for the sake of Allah, and not simply to appear religious, then we must enjoin justice for orphans, the indigent, and our neighbors. We must be abundant this Ramadan and spread the mercy and our assistance to those who need it. We must Also be meticulous on how we spend and share our resources.
Allah said “ And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully.” 17:26
Our Future, Our Families! Jobs and Energy Omnibus Bill Floor Vote – Tuesday, April 23
We will be giving a collective rally cry for our families and futures at the Capitol as we push for a powerful legislative outcome during the House floor vote for the Jobs & Energy Omnibus bill – which includes Paid Family and Medical Leave, Earned Sick and Safe Time, Stopping Wage Theft and 100% Clean Energy.
This is a time for us to boldly show up and declare that our families and collective futures are not for negotiation. We can have the good things we deserve. We have the will and resources. Tax cuts to the rich won’t cut it. Funding our families and future is the only thing that will. Let’s get it done!
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