The Rally to End Racism: From South Carolina to Washington, D.C.
Micah 6:8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
By Steven Reed
Jesus tells us “And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34) When I saw Bishop Yoos’ invitation to join him on a trip to Washington, DC to participate in the Rally to End Racism, my answer was yes, I must do this. I must show that God’s love is stronger than racism.
Having grown up during the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s and witnessing the ugliness of racism and segregation first hand, this trip was for me a bucket list item. Joining the thousands who had marched in Washington, in Montgomery, in Selma, in Greensboro, in Columbia and elsewhere in the past struggle, I added my two feet and my voice with 34 others from South Carolina and thousands of others from across this nation to this ever-growing chorus proclaiming God’s love into this broken world. Evangelical Pastor Jim Wallis said, “Every time that we allow this original sin of racism to evolve and change and impact people’s lives, what we are doing, literally in our hands we are throwing away the image of God. This isn’t political. This is theological.”
The march and rally were powerful. Thousands marched from the Martin Luther King Memorial, past the Washington Monument to the National Mall. We walked silently remembering God’s promise to act. We stood between the Capitol Building and the White House as proclaimers of God’s word to the centers of power in this country. We listened as leaders from many faiths offered prayers and words of wisdom. Christian and Jew, Muslim and Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist, Later Day Saint and Zoroastrian all gathered to proclaim God’s love.
“Racism is Sin!” declared one sign. Racism separates us from the love of our sisters and brothers, but also separates us from the love of God. We as individuals and we, as a community, must repent and turn from our sin. Speak truth! Bring reconciliation! Be the voice, hands and feet of Jesus. Bishop Yoos had us focus on Micah 6:8 while we road on our Emmaus bus to Washington. How appropriate to be on the road to Emmaus to find Jesus in our sisters and brothers. Read Micah 6:8 and ask yourself, how are you doing justice? How are you bringing kindness? How are you walking humbly with your God?