Just a few years ago, I traveled to stand in solidarity with a brutalized community. When I arrived, I followed the lead of local activists. They were ready to go. When we arrived at the authorities’ designated protest site, we started to march. For days, we marched along the same path. I even heard someone say, “If we march how we’re told, we’ll get what we want.” Ultimately, I realized that the designated spot was more about control than change. If we stayed in the spot, there would be no problems…and there would be no change. The designated spot was a prison. To follow the designations of public officials was to die.
This morning, young passionate clergy will arrive at their designated spots. They will go through the motions. During the sermon, they might even drop a line about justice. The only problem is that they’re not free…and without freedom there can be no change. “Do you want to move to a bigger church?” “What about your salary?” “Do you need health insurance?” The incentives for minding the designations are great, but the cost is greater…justice. Designated systems kill prophetic voices. Jesus collapses and dies in these spaces.
Friends, we were made for so much more.
Heresy is participation.
God is not a designated space.