Jul 30, 2013

Litany: Using Our Lives

Here’s a litany contrasting the words of scripture with the words of Cesar Chavez, the 20th century American labor leader and civil rights activist. It comes from the National Farm Worker Ministry website.


When we are really honest with ourselves, we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So, it is how we use our lives that determine what kind of people we are. It is my deepest belief that only by giving do we find life.

For whosoever would save his or her life will lose it,
and whoever loses his or her life for my sake will find it. (Mark 8:35)
But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. God gave us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth.

Therefore, choose life that you and your descendants may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Our struggle is not easy. Those who oppose us are rich and powerful and they have many allies in high places. We are poor. Our allies are few. But we have something the rich do not own. We have our bodies and our spirits and the just of our cause.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human kind,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human kind. (1 Corinthians 1:25)

We can choose to use our lives for others to bring about a better and a more just world for our children. People who make that choice will know hardship and sacrifice. But if you give yourself totally to the non-violent struggle for peace and justice, you also find that people will give you their hearts and you will never go hungry and you will never be alone. In giving yourself, you will discover a whole new life full of meaning and love.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings like eagles.
They shall run and not be weary.
They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

What do we want the churches to do? We don’t ask for more cathedrals. We don’t ask for bigger churches or fine gifts. We ask for its presence with us, as God among us. We ask the churches to sacrifice with the people for social justice, and for love of brother and sister. We don’t ask for words. We ask for deeds… a multitude of simple deeds for justice, carried out by men and women whose hearts are focused on the suffering of the poor and who yearn, with us, for a better world. Together, all things are possible!

Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find.
Knock, and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)
Amen. Amen.

~ posted on the National Farm Worker Ministry website.  http://nfwm.org/education-center/worship-resources/litanies/