Lament and Hope: A Pan African Quad-Centennial Devotional Guide - Page 23



LAMENT AND HOPE
The Policy of the G.I. Bill
Weekly Scripture Lessons:
First Sunday: “We Are Made in the Image of God” (Genesis 1:24-30)
Second Sunday: “Caring for All God’s People Matters” (Psalm 33:12-22)
Third Sunday: “How Do We Care for Those Serving in the Military?” (Luke 12:22-34)
Fourth Sunday: “How Can We Advocate for Our Service Men and Women?” (Galatians 6:1-10)
Biblical Reflection:
Every day millions of people are suffering without food, shelter, and other basic needs. While there are national and
international efforts to address these needs, advocacy for change must continue to end hunger and poverty. This advocacy
must consider a myriad of intersectional issues of discrimination. Our call to advocacy is grounded in the scriptures that
teach us that the poor are to be empowered and those affected by hunger are to be fed. This advocacy is for the common good
(Galatians 6:10).
Discrimination is the opposite approach to living for the common good. The Bible says men and women are made in the image
of God (Genesis 1:27). This concept of the imago dei has not always been fully embraced by the churches. Some churches have
opted to support the status quo rather than live out the tenets of the gospel of love and justice.
This happened in 1619. August 20, 2019 marks the Quad-Centennial of the arrival of enslaved Africans from Angola to
Virginia. The commodification of African lives for labor was upheld by Christians who decried the humanity of Africans
rendering African lives as inferior. The enslavement of African people globally, the colonization of the African continent, and
the mass exportation of African people into the Americas yielded an unholy legacy of social ills, which continue to plague
African and people of African descent.
The inequitable distribution of government resources for African-descended people who served in the military and their
families was a social ill that hindered the structural and social development of the United States. It was another example
of the on-going oppression of African and African-descended women, men, and children that continues to defy the biblical
understanding of humans made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Churches must be present in the fight for justice through the
advocacy of just policies for all.
Prayer:
Creator God, our hearts are broken with the devaluing of human life. Our souls ache with desire for a world where all are
fed, and all live in dignity and with respect and freedom. Move us to be advocates for humanity, working to eradicate poverty,
racism, and all social ills so that equity belongs to all. We live in hope for a world where all are free, and your image is seen in
every face we encounter. Amen.
Reflection Questions:
Week 1: How does a contemporary living of imago dei inform your actions with and on behalf of all people?
Week 2: In the face of increasing nationalism, what does the psalmist have to say about caring for God’s people?
Week 3: How do you experience the connection between Jesus’ teaching to let go of anxiety and the call to advocacy for and
with the “least of these”?
Week 4: Our call to action on behalf of all people is affirmed. How can this motivate your advocacy?
Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson is Minister of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations and the former Minister for Racial Justice with
Justice and Witness Ministries at the United Church of Christ
Bread for the World
AUGUST
17

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