The battle is in our hands. And we can answer with creative nonviolence the call to higher ground to which the new directions of our struggle summons us. (Yes, sir) The road ahead is not altogether a smooth one. (No) There are no broad highways that lead us easily and inevitably to quick solutions. But we must keep going.Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Small Group Questions
- Where have you seen the Beloved Community lived out this week?
- In Dr. King’s speech, Our God is Marching On, he says, “The only normalcy that we will settle for (Yes, sir) is the normalcy that recognizes the dignity and worth of all of God’s children. The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy that allows judgment to run down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. (Yes, sir) The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy of brotherhood and sisterhood, the normalcy of true peace, the normalcy of justice.” What does this say to you? Knowing what we have been learning about being a beloved community, what are some of things your learning? What are some challenges you are facing?
Let's Talk About Community
- What do you think it would take to create a society that values racial and ethnic differences (or sub-racial and ethnic diversity)?
- Can you think of anything you are doing toward that effort? Can you think of anything you could start doing?
- When you hear people in your circles making biased comments, do you speak up? Why or why not?
- Who are you most afraid of having conversations about race with? Do you have any idea why?
- Have you ever been accused of being racist? How did it make you feel? Did it change your behavior? Why or why not?
What Does Scripture Say?
- In the parable of the Good Samaritan, (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus gives us a clear description on what it means to be a neighbor. What does it mean to you?
- Preaching on the text, Dr. King noted, “I imagine that the first question the priest and Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But by the very nature of his concern, the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'” Which one do you relate to the most? The priest and the Levite? Or the Samaritan? How can you be more like the Samaritan today?
Post-Work for Next Week
- "Teaching Kids about Race"
- “25 Essential Black Voices on Mental Health and Wellness”
- “Race in America – A Holy Post Video, Phil Vischer” (for citations, see here)
- “The Open Table Trainings”
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander. A civil rights attorney reviews the tragic history of the War on Drugs and its nightmarish impact on communities of color.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson. The founder of a Montgomery, Alabama-based nonprofit law firm relates the tragic story of one client sent to death row on transparently manufactured evidence and reviews the larger implications for America’s broken criminal justice system.