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Creating Turmoil!

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In his book, The Freedom Revolution and the Churches, Robert Spike recalls an incident from the early years of the turbulent civil rights movement. 

Flying out of Jackson, Mississippi, Spike overhears the conversation of a Catholic Sister dressed in her religious habit, sitting across the aisle from him, with her seat companion. 

The Sister is lamenting all the unrest in Mississippi, and she complains about the “outside agitators,” the students and church leaders who have come to her state in support of civil rights, certain that their presence is provoking violence on the part of white racists. 

“I do not question their dedication, nor even the rightness of their position,” said the Catholic Sister. “But surely it is a bad thing to create turmoil by stirring up people who feel differently.” As the Sister talks, all the while she is nervously fingering a cross that  is hanging around her neck.

There’s a tragic irony in the Sister’s words and actions, not unlike that of the first Holy Week and what Jesus did and said. 

For the one whose cross the Sister holds most dear, Jesus, would never have taken the risk of going to Jerusalem, proclaim a new way of living and ignite the torch that stirred up the crowds to the point where they cried out: “Crucify him! Crucify him!” 

Jesus would never have confronted comfortable patterns and ultimately endured the cross, had he followed the Sister’s philosophy. Had Jesus followed Sister’s viewpoint, she well might not have had a cross with Jesus to hold on to. 

Thanks to Robert Spike and Joel D. Kline and to Karolina Grabowska for the photo. 

Do YOU think Jesus would have been crucified if he had never confronted and stirred up the people who felt differently about what he was teaching?


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