A spirituality that is only private and self-absorbed, one devoid of an authentic political and social consciousness, does little to halt the suicidal juggernaut of history. On the other hand, an activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness and rooted in divine truth, wisdom, and compassion will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions. When, however, the deepest and most grounded spiritual vision is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing political, economic, and social institutions, a holy force–the power of wisdom and love in action–is born. This force I define as Sacred Activism.
Or, as the prophet Micah put it, “God has shown you, O Mortal, what is good, and what your God REQUIRES of you: do justice, love mercifully, and walk humbly with your God.” Those are the requirements of our faith. DO, LOVE, WALK! Those are all active verbs, sacred, active verbs. That isn’t to say that worship, prayer, meditation, study, and contemplation are not also sacred activities. They are as essential for the soul as sleeping and eating and drinking are for the body. The challenge for the person of faith is that many of us have attended worship our entire lives, and gone to Sunday school or Bible study for years, we have prayed and meditated … but then what?!?
I keep thinking of Jabba the Hutt from “Star Wars.” If we only nourish and renew our souls, and do not spend at least one-third of our life expending spiritual energy in service to God by serving others then the result is spiritual obesity, drunkenness, and slovenliness. Churches should never work harder to get people to worship or Bible study than they do to get people into service. That rhythm of gathering to worship and scattering to serve is as sacred as it is ancient.
Every week in my benediction I say, “Our worship has ended, but NOW our service begins ….” It is here and now that we are sacred activists empowered by the Spirit and set loose on the world as missionaries of grace, emissaries of joy, and ambassadors of Holy love.
And you thought this was just another ordinary Tuesday …
Rev. Michael Piazza