By Rev. Mindi
When I look back over this past year, there are a lot of things I think the world can regret.
More mass shootings.
More hate against Blacks, Muslims, transgender women, and others.
In my own town south of Seattle, I have seen passage of anti-homeless ordinances as the rise of the population living in tents grows. I have experienced the failure of two school bonds, resulting in more overcrowded classrooms and not enough space, let alone resources, for students with disabilities as well as typically developing students, in our district where over 44 languages are spoken and all but three schools are Title IX schools.
Looking back, I remember the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting, in which nine black church members and their pastor were gunned down by a white supremacist. I remember unarmed African-American men killed by police officers, again. I remember the shooting last month at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Denver, and the shooting in Bakersfield, and the massive attack in Paris, France.
Then I remember June 26th.
President Obama comforted the nation by singing and speaking at Rev. (and Senator) Clementa Pinckney’s funeral. In the midst of tragedy, I found hope.
The Supreme Court of the United States declared that marriage between same-sex couples was legal and a constitutional right.
And remember June 27th?
That was the day Bree Newsome climbed the flagpole in Charleston and tore the damn flag down.
And after that?
Several businesses stopped selling the Confederate flag on merchandise.
There were some good days, even absolutely wonderful days, in 2015.
The world isn’t always getting better. It feels, at times, the world is revolving backwards, that we have made no forward motion in terms of civil rights or justice. But then I remember those days to hold on to, those days when the world changes and doesn’t go back. And I see the kingdom of God is near. I hear the call of John the Baptist, and later of Jesus: “Repent, and believe in the Good News.”
As we draw near the end of 2015, and look to 2016, I hear the Baptizer’s call. Repent, and believe in the Good News. For there is still Good News to be revealed, Good News to be shared, and Good News to engage.