It's time to expand our ideas about sanctuary. We’re not talking about hiding behind our church walls. We’re talking about taking to the streets, showing our holy outrage at the ways we are dehumanizing each other, and ourselves in the process.
On Sunday, March 20, 2016 members of Kimball Avenue Church, Nuestra Señora de las Americas, and St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square met for worship at Diversey River Bowl before a joint procession with palms to the rally for public housing at Lathrop Homes. At that worship service Pastors Liz Muñoz, Bruce Ray, and Erik Christensen team preached a sermon on Luke 19:28-48, drawing parallels between Jesus's dramatic entry into Jerusalem, lament for the city, and disruption of Temple commerce with the planned action for public housing planned by the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance (LSEA).
Jesus points to the persistence of poverty, it is always there, and then immediately to our capacity to do something about it, “you can show kindness to them whenever you wish,” as if to say, “if you are so concerned with the poor, what’s stopping you from doing something about it?” That is precisely the right question, especially for those of us who delight in holding the right opinions on the pressing justice concerns of our day, but struggle to take action. In the face of growing gaps in income between the world’s richest and the world’s poorest, when corporate giants like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart knowingly pay their workers unlivable wages and then refer them to federal food assistance and Medicaid programs, Jesus says, “you can show kindness to them whenever you wish.”