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Rise Up!

One of the assigned readings for Sunday is the stoning of Stephen. We will read only the end of that story, but what proceeds the reading is Stephen’s “sermon” to the fundamentalist leaders of his day. It was a powerful reminder to his listeners that history indicts them for killing prophets who had spoken truth to power, prophets killed by the very people they were calling to repent.

Yesterday, the president fired the director of the FBI who was investigating Russian interference in the U.S. election. This is the third investigator to be dismissed. I won’t imply that they are Biblical prophets, but it does seem that this is not a good time to speak truth to power.

It always has taken great courage to be able to confront injustice or wrongdoing. It seems that the courage to stand against injustice is the rarest commodity in our society, and the most desperately needed. I suppose it makes sense, considering that Jesus and Stephen both got killed by being brave.

So, if you were brave, what injustice would you confront? What inequality offends you and makes you want to do something to change it? Is there anything you care enough about to risk something to make a difference? You don’t have to be a Biblical prophet, but there is so much wrong in the world that, even if every one of us risked everything, we would make only a dent.

During the next three Sundays at Virginia-Highland Church, we will consider what it will take for us to “rise up” against some of the most pernicious evils that we must confront. What would you consider those evils to be? What would you be willing to do to help bring them to an end? What’s stopping you? When can you start?





Rev. Michael Piazza

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