A few weeks back, a friend of a friend tagged an article about four city council officers in Ann Arbor, Michigan [see article] who chose to “take a knee” during a recent meeting. Her caption was the rhetorically inflamed, “what ARE we teaching our children?” This is my (non-rhetorical, all-in) answer.
I’m sure there’s a lot of variance in what we’re teaching our kids. Here’s what I hope to be teaching mine:
- None of us is free until all of us are free;
- Jesus identified every time with the least of these – the orphan, widow, foreigner, outcast. The ones who were homeless, in prison, and bleeding;
- Jesus asks us to do the same, even – and maybe especially – if that goes against power, empire, religion, tradition;
- Be curious. Listen generously;
- The way of the cross (non-resistance) is not one of cowardice but courage;
- You are Beloved by the One True God. So is your neighbour. (Yes, even she is your neighbour.) Act accordingly.
That’s a start anyway. And here’s the hardest part: I know/hope/and (honestly) just fear that someday these things I’m teaching them will cause them to act ways that actually threaten my own sensibilities, loyalties, and peace. That someday they will question and confront a darkness in the world that I’ve been content to ignore. May it be so. And Lord have mercy on me, a sinner. Give me the humility and courage to join them on their knees.