When we set out to prepare this year’s Lenten guide, the contributors were told they could choose whichever lectionary passage they wanted to write about for their given date as long as the focus of their reflection was race, power, and privilege. For most days, there were at least four passages to choose from, and for some there were multiple. You will see selections in this guide chosen from the Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms reflecting a variety of authors and tones. Remarkably, without consulting with each other, almost all of us have written about the need to recognize the humanity in one other – a call to move beyond division as we acknowledge that we are all beloved children of God.
Also connecting these reflections is a need for self-awareness and acknowledgement of how we can contribute to changing structures of race, power, and privilege beginning with ourselves. In a situation that can sometimes seem overwhelming, we begin by working internally to build change externally.
Finally, we are reminded of all that is seen and unseen when we approach an individual or situation. Do we pass judgement based on the color of skin or quality of clothing? Do we reject a cornerstone because we don’t recognize its strength and steadfastness – because it doesn’t look like the cornerstones we are used to?
We hope the words you find here will inspire you to reflect deeply, assess honestly, and then to act decisively to make our society more just. We have lost ground in ways and places where we thought progress was rooted. May we recall our responsibility to love one another not just in words but through ensuring more just structures in our world.