'Reclaiming Jesus' takes on the core question: What do we believe?

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People pray during an interfaith vigil titled "Reclaiming the Integrity of Faith During Political and Moral Crisis" May 24 outside the White House in Washington. (CNS/Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
People pray during an interfaith vigil titled "Reclaiming the Integrity of Faith During Political and Moral Crisis" May 24 outside the White House in Washington. (CNS/Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

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Sojourners has published a creed that proclaims our God of justice and love and peace and truth. "Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis" rejects racism and welcomes the refugee. You can watch a dozen pastors proclaim its core, sentence by sentence.

It's on Facebook, but I went looking for it first on Google. "Pastors speaking about justice today" turned up 22.3 million results. "Reclaiming Jesus" is signed by 23 of them, elders, men and women, black and white, including Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr, though he's the only Catholic signer.

It was written at a retreat convened by Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, on this past Ash Wednesday. It carries a sense of urgency.

The third paragraph reads:

When politics undermines our theology, we must examine that politics. The church's role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government's role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior (Romans 13). When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state."

It goes on:

We believe each human being is made in God's image and likeness. ...

We believe we are one body. ...

We believe how we treat the hungry ... is how we treat Christ himself. ...

We believe that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives.

Each of these statements is developed and followed by rejection of some of the sins of our time. Last Thursday, May 24, this statement was proclaimed in prayer and procession to the White House, where people stood in silent vigil.

What do we believe? It's a core question of our lives and one more time it is Jim Wallis at the forefront, asking us.

Reclaiming Jesus

[Mary Ann McGivern, a Sister of Loretto, works with people who have felony convictions and advocates for criminal justice. She lived at a Catholic Worker house for 28 years. She has been a public radio commentator and written plays and a cookbook. She lives in St. Louis.]


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