Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Repentance of Power - A Response

Sermon Series: Repentance
Repenting of Power
Luke 3:1-20
Patrick's sermon this past Sunday challenged us to consider how we will live within the context of the powers of this world, as the people of God, who have a different relationship with power.  We were asked to repent of the ways that we have taken our power/advantages for granted.  I have been thinking a lot about this topic of power for a while (spurred on by Ferguson and the things that the Black Lives Matter movement asks me to consider about power.)  While I don’t agree with all aspects of #BLM, I do think that as a white woman I have power and advantages that do not exist for others.  One way that I am trying to not take advantage of my power is to give up the "right to be right” and to try and consider the way others experience the world through THEIR lens rather than MY lens.  
A crowd marches down Bragg Street to the Bible Way Temple after speakers memorialized shooting victim Akiel Denkins in Raleigh on February 29.
Rather than rolling my eyes and saying that black people just need to respect the cops and do what is right and none of this would happen (which I hear from people a lot), I’m trying to ask, why would so many people react so strongly to what is happening.  What is it about their experience that elicits this response (that is so different from how I think I would respond) that is different from my own experience?  Mostly I am trying to read and listen to African-American voices rather than what other white people have to say about African-American voices.  So, that is one specific arena in which I am trying to think about power.  

Terri Shell
IV Area Director for
Eastern Carolinas
Terri Shell is an Apostles member and missionary with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.