Things I’m not tired of talking about: the Tony Awards, “Emily Doe.”
Very soon my denomination will be talking about fossil fuel divestment and The Confession of Belhar, and the future of Synods – all topics that most of the world doesn’t know or care about. But in my denomination, our General Assembly will be caring very much about these topics June 18- 25 in Portland.
I’ve been talking about this blog post by Andrew Kukla which is about what we talk about in church. He notes that we often talk about spiritual things in Christian Education classes but not in everyday conversation. It’s not part of our daily reflections with friends.
When someone of another faith tells me that they’ve become Muslim/Buddhist/Hindu because “it’s not a religion; it’s a way of life” I want to slap my hand to my forehead. Since when is following Jesus not a way of life? (Hint: since, in the words of Kukla, we’ve been doing “classroom education” rather than “discipleship.” We offer classes. People go home smarter. But nothing changes.)
One way to change the Church: talk about discipleship every day. Where did I see God today? What signs of resurrection did I notice? How was my soul moved? Why did I or didn’t I reach out to a stranger? Did I even notice the strangers?
I also have an idea for changing the world: talk about race every day. How often do we talk about race with our family and friends?
In the words of Debby Irving: “Not talking about race (is) a privilege available only to white people.” Irving refers to a survey she took years ago, in Waking Up White, which asked:
How often do you talk about race with your family and friends?
Without exception all the people of color answered, “every day.” Their sons and daughters’ lives depend on knowing about racism and colorism. Their own job security depends on knowing certain cultural codes. I believe we should all be talking about race every day.
Why does a young black man get 3 years in Rikers without a trial, falsely accused of backpack theft? Why does a young white man get 6 months in jail for rape? The stories are countless. There’s plenty to talk about every single day.
What we talk about every day reveals who we are cosmically and eternally. It speaks to our life’s purpose.
Yes, it’s fun to talk about new ice cream flavors and who’s getting the next EGOT. But God is calling us to make disciples and love our neighbors. Let’s talk about what that looks like – every day.