Because behind us is the power of the arc of the moral universe that we have been promised bends toward justice. And justice -- Bishop John Hines famously taught us -- Justice is the corporate face of God’s love. The arc of the universe bends toward that love ... and so doing justice is an integral part of what we do as people of faith created in the image of the God of love and compassion. We do justice because of our faith … in response to our call … as part of our vocation ... as part of our historic response to making God’s love tangible. And some of us have been at this arc bending stuff for a VERY LONG TIME.
And so tonight I want to nominate someone as a poster child for this work we’ve been called to do. She’s spiritual ancestor for many of us and her story is found in the 18th chapter of Luke’s gospel. We know her as the Persistent Widow … the one who went again and again demanding justice and who eventually got it from the unjust judge. Not because she warmed his heart. Not because she changed his mind. But because she wore hims out.
And so we -- like her -- come back again and again. Yes, we want to change hearts. Yes, we pray change minds. And yes ... if it what it takes is making a way where there is no way by wearing away the injustice we're gonna keep on comin' back. Just like she did. And the arc will bend. And justice WILL roll down.
As so as we stand tonight on their shoulders in the tension of so much to be grateful for … and SO much work left to do … let’s remember that the tide turns one wave at a time ... but first we have to make some waves.
Well, I don't think it is luck. I think that what faith-based organizations bring is moral courage. We reinforce the notion that it is essential to speak up with passion and commitment for all of those neighbors whom we strive to love as deeply as we love ourselves. I saw a lot of people with heart in those Capitol Hill offices, but they need encouragement. I met people who are bringing all that they are, and giving everything they've got, to the task at hand. They need to see the rest of us doing the same.
The soul of America is at stake … The people of God need to speak up, now.
And so tomorrow, my brothers and sisters, we are the people of God who are going to be speaking up. We’re going to speak up for Family Values that value all families and for a Protect Marriage Movement that protects all marriages. For safe schools. For equal employment.
We’re going to speak up for an America that is true to its core values of liberty and justice for all because we are speaking up for our core faith values of love, justice and compassion.
When we stand on the Mall in the shadow of the Capitol dome – when we troop through the halls of Congress -- bringing moral courage to our legislators and their staffs – we’re going to do it all aware of the deep privilege of doing this work … and also aware of the long list of Persistent Widows we take with us … on our hearts, in our memories, in our stories.
And with gratitude – deep gratitude – for being part of the tide that is turning one wave at a time … as we take our place in the arc of history that bends toward justice … and we are claim our call to make justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.