Prepare the Way - Tuesday

read Mark 1:1-8
from the artist | Lisle Gwynn Garrity

Recently, my husband and I volunteered to serve on the safety team for a Black Lives Matter march and vigil in our local city. While we’ve frequently participated in peaceful protests, this role was new to us. We joined hundreds of white allies and community organizers, showing up hours before the march began to prepare supplies and receive training. Our role was straightforward: we were to use our bodies to create critical mass along the edges of the crowd in order to protect the leaders of the march from harm. We were to stay alert and look for agitators—white supremacists or others instigating violence—and either place our bodies as a barrier or, when possible, try to nonviolently de-escalate the situation. Our trainers directed us: “Today’s march is not about you. You won’t be able to participate in the chants and you might not be able to hear the speakers. Instead, you are here to use your privilege to protect our Black leaders so they can make their voices heard, so they can express their grief and cry out for change without fearing that harm will be done to them in return.” And so, all day we walked alongside the shouts crying out in the wilderness of downtown city streets. As a call for repentance for the sins of racism, police brutality, and systemic injustice were proclaimed, we did our best to keep the peace and prepare the way.

As I’ve returned to this scripture, I’ve been struck by the fact that the story of the good news according to Mark begins with protest—with crowds swelling and shouting, with a movement of people hungry for change and willing to risk their lives for it. And so, I’m committing to preparing the way—for God’s message of liberation and love to truly be heard and made known.

Breathe deeply as you gaze upon the image below. Imagine placing yourself in this scene. What do you see? How do you feel? Get quiet and still, offering a silent or spoken prayer to God.
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