Luther’s famous “Here I stand, I can do no other” has been refuted to be unreliable by various scholars; the actual quote is as follows: “I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me, Amen.”
As a seminary community we are still celebrating and worshiping God in this Easter season. It is always a joy to experience student led worship services, allowing the opportunities for my classmates to preach prophetically. It is freedom to remove one’s shoes and stand rooted in the earth; speaking, shouting, calling those before us to get up and go, making disciples, spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ-calling us to action.
Being here at LSTC has given me avenues to escape from inside the stifling and sterile room of what is accepted as the "norm"; opening windows and doors thereby letting the invading ethereal colors to seep into my spirit. I find that I am able to take those first steps by getting involved with local community organizations, social justice actions and marching with fellow seminarians, making a stand against the injustice that is heaped on the backs of those not deemed important. Hearing the encouraging words from faculty and staff who came to SURRJ meetings to volunteer, lend their wisdom or boldly confess their faith by walking alongside us in a sea of people who are angry and can only lift their voices in lament yet still praising God.
As the semester has slowly curled at the waist, taking its final bow I am still reminded that there is always room for learning and that God gives us those teaching moments affirming who He has called us to be. I was reminded today that if I am to boldly confess my own faith, humbly prostrated before the cross of the Risen Savior and that I have accepted this call- I must also bear the brunt of criticisms of those who perhaps feel evangelizing means staying within our boundaries, our borders and our comfortable church walls.
“Then Amos answered Amaziah: I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son….and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me ‘Go prophesy to my people Israel.”
We must, as brothers and sisters in Christ, not walk through the streets silent when we see others hurting or in pain. It is not just enough for us to call ourselves Christians but that we must become Christ-like, reaching out to our neighbors, the strangers, our friends in love, working and praying, being of the body of Christ. Taking that first step outside of our comfort zones is indeed frightening and not many will agree with my stance. But regardless whether we agree to disagree in the end, we must open our arms and hearts and say to one another “Peace be with you."
Lape Bondye, God’s Peace.