“No prophet is accepted in his own native place.” This was a sobering statement to swallow. As justice-seekers, it’s important that our work is rooted in the communities we’re a part of. Justice is not a one-all solution, it must be precise—fine-tuned to the needs of those who are suffering the most.
And yet, today, we’re reminded that telling the truth, being honest about the injustices we see, what others ignore or un-see, has consequences. It’s not always easy telling the truth, unveiling the systemic injustices in our churches, cities, and communities. It can be daunting to tell your parish, that yes, it must wrestle with its power, privilege, and its own complicity in excluding communities of color and LGBTQIA+ persons. It is scary to tell your school board that more guns isn’t the answer to stopping school shootings, and it is intimidating to protest outside city halls, reminding those in power that the moral test of society is how we treat those who are least among us. Telling the truth is risky. Hearing it can be painful. It can cause anger, resentment, and chaos.“The people in the synagogue were filled with fury, and drove him out of the town.”
So, what then? Do we stop? Do we hide? Do we retreat?
No. Beloved, find solace! For prophets never gave up. Elijah, Elisha, and Jesus remind us that the truth of righteousness will not be silenced nor driven out. And so, we must learn to keep pushing forward. Even amid the chaos, the truth demands to be heard.
So proclaim, dear friends, proclaim the truth of love and righteousness, let us do our part to bend the moral arc of the universe a little closer towards that beloved community.
- How can you, in order to do your part to “bend the moral arc of the universe closer toward that beloved community,” be a truth-teller, honest about the injustices you see?
- Do you find solace in the idea of truth-telling, or do you feel a desire to hide or retreat? How can you ask God for the strength to keep speaking?
Michael Libunao-Macalintal, M.Div. (he/him) is currently the liturgical minister of Marquand Chapel at Yale Divinity School. A theologian, minister, and preacher, Michael has spent his career helping form students to be prophets in their own communities and contexts. You can find more of his writing, sermons, and prayers on his substack, the delicate art of living.