Thursday, 29 March 2018

Litany of Resistance

During Lent, as during Advent we have been holding a prayer and protest vigil outside HSBC for one hour each week. This time we have opened and closed the time there by praying together the "Litany of Resistance." You can read it in full here.

It is a very powerful prayer which speaks to and of a God who weeps with the suffering of the world, those who are still being crucified by systems and practices which promote death rather than life.

As we have repeated the words each week, one phrase more than any other has spoken to me:

"With the violence of apathy; we will not comply"

I guess it's the juxtaposition of two words which might seem at first glance to be incompatible which seared it in to my consciousness.

Apathy holds a sense of inactivity, of nothingness. And yet I guess this statement stands as a reminder of the fact that to do nothing is to side with the powerful; to choose not to engage is a privilege only the powerful have.

I can only ignore the devastating effects of climate change, the horrific implications of trading in weaponry for profit, the horrifying reality of the "hostile environment for migration", the desperate poverty created by the extraction of resources or imposition of complicated trading legislation, the anxiety and fear caused by cuts imposed by austerity,  because I am one of the privileged few.

I can only say I do not have the energy or the time to fight those battles because to not do so has only a limited, if any, impact on the life I can lead.

And so it stands as a call: not to stick a sticking plaster on a gaping wound, but to find ways to speak against a rhetoric of fear and exclusion and hatred of the other; to find ways to challenge systems and structures of destruction and death; to stand, as God does, with those being 'crucified' today and offer the hope of resurrection.

I find it a deeply beautiful phrase because it reminds us of the potential we have to make a difference. I find it a deeply challenging phrase because I know I have a very long way to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment