Lenten Reflection Nine: Leaving the Empire Behind
Our lives are emmeshed in society’s economic web. It has its own faith in the golden idols of materialism, endless growth, and technological triumph. It can seem comfortable until the truth of this enmeshment is revealed. The coronavirus pandemic has done this, highlighting the depth of income and health inequality, and exposing the extreme vulnerability of Black and brown people. Sometimes we discover that our “normal” circumstances and sense of security have long been blinders we’ve placed over our eyes and callouses over our hearts. Then we should find a way to walk away. We may retreat to a secluded place to get detached from the Empire’s grasp, and reattached to the searing truth of the present, with a vision of God’s preferred future.
Question: Are you living in the modern Empire’s captivity?
Returning to the Fray
A strategic spiritual withdrawal to regain a truthful perspective on the world, resetting our inner moral compass is the easy step. More challenging is our reentry, where we live out of that truth. This is the “rough test of faith.” Doing so can take the form of a pilgrim journey. We walk in ways that embody our convictions. It’s not just what we say, but where and how we move. Think about it. Protesters always march. They move toward some destination, like a state capital building, and move with a holy purpose. It’s what happened in Leipzig Germany, and at the Edmund Pettis Bridge, and so many other places made sacred in memory, and pivotal in social change, because of where and how pilgrims walked.
Exercise: Select a secluded place and go there, if possible, by walking. Reflect there on today’s question about your captivity to the Empire. Then, try to ask God, where should you be walking, and with whom? Write and share.