Recently, I watched footage of Black Lives Matter protestors and other groups at different political events. I saw men and women putting their bodies in harm’s way and yelling out demands while standing in the midst of angry crowds. They endured insults and even assaults.
The protestors may or may not be Christian or even religious for that matter, but what I witnessed was a deep commitment to a cause that compelled them to place their bodies in vulnerable situations where they were subjected to verbal and sometimes physical abuse.
Our reading today tells the story of the three Hebrew men who refused to worship the god of King Nebuchadnezzar, sacrificing their very lives in obedience to their God. Their brave act challenged me to reflect upon my own beliefs and convictions and to consider if I would do the same if ever a situation required that level of sacrifice.
Most of us will never have to sacrifice our bodies or our lives to defend our beliefs. But often times we are in situations where we have to be brave, courageous, audacious, and unmovable. Our beliefs and convictions mean little if our commitment does not lead us to sacrifice everything to uphold those virtues. And who knows? In our very act of bravery, we, just like the three Hebrew men, could change the heart of the king.
- How can you demonstrate bravery in your commitment to justice?
- King Nebuchadnezzar was so moved by the young men’s sacrifice and God’s delivering power, that he was compelled to believe in their God. Do others around you see your commitment to justice as inspiring? Are there ways you can influence others to deepen their commitment to justice?
Wanda Scott has held positions at the East Bay Community Foundation, Pacific School of Religion, Case Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, The Cleveland Orchestra, and United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. She holds a B.A. in religious studies from Cleveland State University, Ohio, and a master of theological studies from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, where she focused on biblical studies and feminist interpretations of the New Testament.