4 – Howard Thurman
The basic fact is that Christianity as it was born in the mind of this Jewish thinker and teacher appears as a technique of survival for the oppressed. That it became, through the intervening years, a religion of the powerful and the dominant, used sometimes as an instrument of oppression, must not tempt us into believing that it was thus in the mind and life of Jesus. ‘In him was life; and the life was the light of men.’ Wherever his spirit appears, the oppressed gather fresh courage; for he announced the good news that fear, hypocrisy, and hatred, the three hounds of hell that track the trail of the disinherited, need have no dominion over them.
5 – Michel Quoist – Part of a prayer titled The Priest – A Prayer for Sunday Night
Tonight, Lord, I am alone. Little by little the sounds died away in the church. The people went away. And I came home, Alone. I passed people who were returning from a walk. I went by the cinema that was disgorging its crowd. I skirted the café terraces where tired strollers were trying to prolong the pleasure of a Sunday holiday. I bumped into youngsters playing football on the footpath, Youngsters, Lord, Other people’s youngsters who will never be my own. Here I am, Lord, Alone,The silence troubles me, The solitude oppresses me.
4 – Bishop Minerva Garza Carcano – article: A Call for Compassion for Children Arriving from Central America
We all know that where a child is born shouldn’t determine how long she lives, but it does. However, we must remember that under God, there is a universal citizenship — a status that makes us all equal under His eyes and worthy of love, dignity and respect, regardless of what side of the man-made border you are from. All children have basic human rights, no matter what they look like or where they come from. From universal citizenship springs unconditional love that goes beyond skin color, language and race. Around the world families desire for their children to be safe, content and healthy and if they are not able to provide such privileges, the most desperate go as far as sending their children to distant shores. As communities of faith and philanthropy, we have a responsibility to step up during this time of massive suffering among innocent children. If we don’t help the children in our society, the most defenseless among us, who will?
5 – Bishop William Willimon – from the book United Methodist Beliefs
‘Follow me!’ Jesus did not say, “Believe the following six things about me, or follow these ten truths.” In the gospels, Jesus calls people to a journey with him, not a seminar about him. He was a prophet preaching, always on the move, constantly drawing people into his journey; he was itinerant, truth in motion; not a professor lecturing a classroom of passive, static spectators. Even when Jesus rarely mentions belief, he isn’t talking about a head-trip, a set of cool intellectual propositions. He is talking about an engaging, costly relationship. “Believe in me,” he says. Not “believe these assertions about me,” but rather give in, be engaged, walk with me.