Signs of Hope in Lent: The Power of Telling Our Story, Part 3

I’ll conclude with these reflections from an interview with Wendell Berry after Donald Trump was elected. Berry said,

“Happiness is a great mental faculty. It happens. One of the best things I know about happiness is that some days I’m happy. I’m happy! I didn’t try to be happy. I don’t have anything in particular to be happy about or happier than I was yesterday. But I’m happy…Well, what a great thing that is! How it undermines—suppose you’re just freely happy for five minutes—that just destroys everybody who’s tried to sell you something to make you happy. How subversive! It’s possible. Let me tell you young people, it’s possible sometimes to go for a whole day and be happy and not buy a thing! We have all these people telling us that what we’ve got is not any good: our house, our wife, our husband, our car; whatever it is, is not as good as a person of our stature and standing ought to have. And we ought to be very unhappy because we don’t have it…” (approx. 44-47 min.)

Then he goes on to describe his experience of civil disobedience at the governor’s office:

“I want you to understand. The score between the conservationists and the coal industry is 100 to nothing. We’ve been totally defeated. We haven’t got a chance. But that was one of the best weekends I ever spent in my life. We had the happiest time. And people sent us food and bedding and some people even came in and gave us a massage. So I think that’s the way you get on. You’re up against it, you’re hard up against it, you do what you can. And you have a good time. You love your allies, the people you’re doing it with. There was a great love in that governor’s office.” (approx. 52-54 min.)

In closing, please follow along with the handout called “A Litany of Resistance.” May this “work of the people” remind us of our hope-filled story. Especially in this season of Lent and the current presidency, I pray that God will fling us out into the harvest as laborers because the fields are ripe!

A Litany of Resistance 

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
Have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
Free us from the bondage of sin and death
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
Hear our prayer. Grant us peace.

For the victims of war
Have mercy
Women, men and children
Have mercy
The maimed and the crippled
Have mercy
The abandoned and the homeless
Have mercy
the imprisoned and the tortured
Have mercy
The widowed and the orphaned
Have mercy
The bleeding and the dying
Have mercy
The weary and the desperate
Have mercy
The lost and the forsaken
Have mercy

O God — Have mercy on us sinners
Forgive us for we know not what we do
For our scorched and blackened earth
Forgive us
For the scandal of billions wasted in war
Forgive us
For our arms makers and arms dealers
Forgive us
One: For our Caesars and Herods
Forgive us
For the violence that is rooted in our hearts
Forgive us
For the times we turn others into enemies
Forgive us

Deliver us, O God
Guide our feet into the way of peace
Hear our prayer.
Grant us peace.

From the arrogance of power
Deliver us
From the myth of redemptive violence
Deliver us
From the tyranny of greed
Deliver us
From the ugliness of racism
Deliver us
From the cancer of hatred
Deliver us
From the seduction of wealth
Deliver us
From the addiction of control
Deliver us
From the idolatry of nationalism
Deliver us
From the paralysis of cynicism
Deliver us
From the violence of apathy
Deliver us
From the ghettos of poverty
Deliver us
From the ghettos of wealth
Deliver us
From a lack of imagination
Deliver us

Deliver us, O God
Guide our feet into the way of peace
We will not conform to the patterns of this world
Let us be transformed by the renewing of our minds
With the help of God’s grace
Let us resist evil wherever we find it

With the waging of war
We will not comply
With the legalization of murder
We will not comply
With the slaughter of innocents
We will not comply
With laws that betray human life
We will not comply
With the destruction of community
We will not comply
With the pointing finger and malicious talk
We will not comply
With the idea that happiness must be purchased
We will not comply
With the ravaging of the earth
We will not comply
With principalities and powers that oppress
We will not comply
With the destruction of peoples
We will not comply
With the raping of women
We will not comply
With governments that kill
We will not comply
With the theology of empire
We will not comply
With the business of militarism
We will not comply
With the hoarding of riches
We will not comply
With the dissemination of fear
We will not comply

Today we pledge our ultimate allegiance… to the Kingdom of God
We pledge allegiance
To a peace that is not like Rome’s
We pledge allegiance
To the Gospel of enemy love
We pledge allegiance
To the Kingdom of the poor and broken
We pledge allegiance
To a King that loves his enemies so much he died for them
We pledge allegiance
To the least of these, with whom Christ dwells
We pledge allegiance
To the transnational Church that transcends the artificial borders of nations
We pledge allegiance
To the refugee of Nazareth
We pledge allegiance
To the homeless rabbi who had no place to lay his head
We pledge allegiance
To the cross rather than the sword
We pledge allegiance
To the banner of love above any flag
We pledge allegiance
To the one who rules with a towel rather than an iron fist
We pledge allegiance
To the one who rides a donkey rather than a war-horse
We pledge allegiance
To the revolution that sets both oppressed and oppressors free
We pledge allegiance
To the Way that leads to life
We pledge allegiance
To the Slaughtered Lamb
We pledge allegiance

And together we proclaim his praises, from the margins of the empire to the centres of wealth and power
Long Live the Slaughtered Lamb
Long Live the Slaughtered Lamb
Long Live the Slaughtered Lamb

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