Emerging Voices Blog

Emerging Voices Blog

Immigration and Resurrection

I looked these immigrant workers in the eyes and said through tears: “God sees you. You are not alone. Across the nation people from the north and south — people who are black, white, Latino, Asian American, and Native American are rising up to stand with you."

Why Have You Forsaken Me?

As I reflect on the plight of the undocumented immigrant in the United States today, I wonder if the words of the Psalmist, echoed by Jesus on the cross, don’t hit a little too close to home.

Listen for the Groaning; Then Worship!

Our addiction to consumption, our oil drills and oil spills, and our depleted uranium bullets whizzing through theaters of war in countries ravaged, torn apart — both the people and the land. Creation is groaning, even as the trees lift their branches heavenward in worship.

The Black Presence in the Bible: Uncovering the Hidden Ones

The Bible is a multicultural book. This statement may sound controversial but archeology, history, and the text prove it to be true.

Faithful Sacrifice

My life is not my own. I am the product of sacrifice. I am here because of those who saw beyond themselves and thought personal sacrifice was worth giving up to allow justice to take hold. I am here because Jesus modeled something completely illogical on the cross and then some of my ancestors took that example seriously and repeated it. I have no real right to the life I live.

Without Exception

After many years of living in solidarity with my people, studying the scriptures, and looking closely at the model of Jesus, I can wholeheartedly agree that, as a rule, "God does not reveal himself in strength or power, but in the weakness and fragility of a newborn babe."

Unemployment, the Vote, and Hope

Today’s Senate vote on unemployment benefits brings hope to 1.3 million people who dare to hope every day. It is right and good that we stand with the least — ones who have fallen on hard times — in their time of need.

The Power of Fasting

Over the past month, I have witnessed the spiritual power of the disciplines of prayer and fasting to redeem our nation’s institutional powers in ways I never imagined.

Fast for Families: Day 18 — Fasting While Others Feast

I moved into the fasting tent Wednesday morning, Day 16 of my Thanksgiving Fast4Families, where the best part has been the fellowship and the discipline of silence.

Day 13 and 14: Fasting Is Our Cross

Day 12 was holy ground for me — a crossroads. I woke up that morning sensing God's call to move back into the tent during Thanksgiving week and through Thanksgiving weekend.

Go Long, for Life

Fear of failure keeps you in the short game, and ironically this often becomes a predictor of failure.

Advent: Fasting for the Reign of God

There is an awesome moment in the opening chapter of the book of Luke where the writer frames his gospel as an epic celestial battle taking place in the heavenly realm: This is the story of the reign of men vs. the reign of God.

A Prayer for Marissa Alexander

Please stand with Marissa Alexander as she learns whether she will be released on bail to await her retrial.

Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship

Faith, immigrant rights, and labor leaders launched the "Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship," Nov. 12, taking place on the National Mall. This post is composed of updates from Lisa Sharon Harper, director of mobilizing for Sojourners, as she experiences the fast.

The Budget and Your Neighbor

And today, 47 million low-income Americans will see their food stamps benefits decrease , as stimulus funding ends. In light of this newly named “war on the poor,” I’ve been reflecting on Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan, and the man’s question to Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” What an intriguing question.

The American Church's Absence of Lament

The absence of lament in the liturgy of the American church results in the loss of memory.

The 'S' Word, the 'D' Word, and '12 Years a Slave'

We do need racial healing. Our nation needs it desperately.

An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church: I Am Not Your Punch Line

When family drama shows up in the church, it grieves me. It riles me up like nothing else does because it is in my identity as a Christian and Jesus-follower where I am all of who God created me to be and has called me to be

I Emailed Pastor Rick Warren and There Is No 'If'

There is no “if.” I am hurt, upset, offended, and distressed, not just because “an” image was posted, but that Warren posted the image of a Red Guard soldier as a joke, because people pointed out the disconcerting nature of posting such an image — and then Warren told us to get over it, alluded to how the self-righteous didn’t get Jesus’ jokes but Jesus’ disciples did, and then erased any proof of his public missteps and his followers’ mean-spirited comments that appeared to go unmoderated.

Dear Pastor Rick Warren, I Think You Don’t Get It

This photo appeared yesterday on Rick Warren’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Apparently the image captures “the typical attitude of Saddleback Staff as they start work each day.” Hmmm. I didn’t realize Saddleback was akin to the Red Army.

Shalom and Gender Justice

It is only after the fall of humanity — when we decided not to trust God’s ways, when we decided to grab at our own way to peace and gratification — that women were subjected to men.

Why I Will Be Marching on Washington and Why You Should Too

Thankfully, "separate but equal" is a vestige of the past; Jim Crow segregation is no longer the law of the land; and racial slurs and derogatory remarks are no longer acceptable. However, we must resist the temptation to hail this racial progress while ignoring to the racial pain that still erodes the full realization of the American dream for so many.

'Silence is Golden': The White Church and Race in America

In the book of Ecclesiastes, the author says that there is a time for everything under heaven, including “a time to be silent, and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:7. Over the past two weekends, the vast majority of African American congregations have spoken up, publically wrestling with responses to and implications of the Zimmerman verdict. Most white congregations have remained silent.

A Time to Mourn

A corporate injustice has occurred and the last thing we should do as people of privilege is to try to shut down the voices that have experienced genuine suffering and are speaking to the reality of an ongoing oppression.

The Zimmerman Verdict and the Resurrection of the Old Jim Crow

Three weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of its enforcement power. Last week the House GOP voted to eliminate 100 percent of funding for food stamps from the Farm Bill. As a result, food stamps are currently unfunded in the federal budget. Finally, last weekend, George Zimmerman was found “not guilty” and black America realized a web of laws have been hacking away at our civil rights to live and expect equal protection under the law. The old Jim Crow is back.

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