Start this time by simply reading from the prophet Habakkuk.
Habakkuk 1: 1-5 (NIV)
The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.
How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
The Lord’s Answer
“Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.
Respond by writing 10 names down in your journal or on a piece of paper. #Saytheirnames is not just a hash tag or chant…it recognizes the lives of those taken unjustly.
You may use all names from the index or include people not on this list but are from your town or you want to learn more about them because you feel connected to their stories because you remember when they were killed by law enforcement or you have something in common with them (perhaps you are a runner so you want to include Ahmaud Arbery)
Closing Reading & Prayer
In 2017 Minister and scholar Montague R. Williams held a “Holy Communion on Canfield Drive: Listening, Liturgy, and Learning on a College Group Pilgrimage in Ferguson, Missouri.” He wrote a paper by the same name. See here. He and the students engaged in the pilgrimage to the site of Michael Brown’s death used the following liturgy to worship on the spot Michael Brown lost his life. I also look forward to reading Williams forth coming book, Church in Color. Read and pray it out loud if you are able:
Leader: As we remember that Christ died by the hands of agents of the empire, we are compelled to resist forgetting the story of Michael Brown who was killed here and whose bleeding body lay visible for hours in the sun, exposing the unjust realities of the empire before the watching world.
All: We must not forget the story of Michael Brown and the related stories of so many others.
Leader: Say their names.
All: Say their names!!!
Leader: Let us take a moment to say names of individuals whose lives ended as a result of racism, sexism, and/or classism in society’s systems.
(Read off your list again)
Leader: It is only when we can unapologetically declare, “Black lives matter,” that we can sincerely affirm that all lives matter.
All: Black lives matter!!!
Leader: As we remember that Christ died by the hands of agents of the empire, we are compelled to resist forgetting stories of those who put their bodies on the line for the sake of others here in Ferguson.
All: Let us remember the stories of people we have met and shared life with on this pilgrimage. Let us remember the stories of people we have read about on this pilgrimage.
Leader: We remember exemplars who have prayed with their feet and followed Jesus into the streets.
All: Let us also remember the stories, questions, and wonders of those who are earnestly discerning what it means to live faithfully here.
Leader: We are thankful for this journey.