Thursday, October 15, 2015

blog action day 2015: #RaiseYourVoice

blog action day | Friday, 16 October 2015

BAD tags for this year are:

#BAD2015 | #RaiseYourVoice | #Oct16 | #BAD15 | #Blogaction15 | #FreeToWrite | #JustABlogger

you can register here for blog action day 2015

The BAD organizers explain:
Why we picked ‪#‎RaiseYourVoice‬ as the theme for Blog Action Day 2015:

We have the power to create the world we want to see when we raise our voice to promote positive change and expose unjust actions. This Blog Action Day we will celebrate those heroes who raise their voice when faced with censorship, threats and even violence. We will overcome silence with our words and actions.

BAD 2015
#RaiseYourVoice is good theology, first-rate activism, and an excellent fit for this blog. As scripture demonstrates, in God's reign of heaven on earth, the priest – the ritual mediator between heaven and earth – is not the one who holds true power and authority. The prophet speaks truth to unjust power, raises their voice, brings a word from heaven to earth, counters and protests the death-dealing voices of empire. The prophet carries true power and authority. Raising a voice that challenges? Yes, of course. That exposes? Indeed agreed.

The prophet becomes the voice of God; the prophet also becomes a voice for, the voice of, the broken, needy and vulnerable. The prophet brings God's call to us to partner with heaven in re-creating justice and righteousness in a broken world.

Who are these speakers of the word? Among many others, scripture brings us a couple of women who sing of a world very different from the same old, same old—a world and a way of life so different it inverts and subverts the old.

magnificat mary
Mary's Magnificat
Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior ... He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty."

Marian icon by Scott Ward

Mary must have heard and probably even memorized Hannah's Song:
1 Samuel 2

Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory. ...The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up...

Sometimes God in the Spirit raises up prophets from amidst a particular gathered people—Moses. They've been known to arrive on the scene from very elsewhere: farmers like Amos! The last century heard prophetic voices like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr. Because the world heard them and heeded them, their words helped create a different world. Only a couple years ago, Pakistani teen Malala got shot for advocating literacy for girls. Her voice resounded all around the world, and resulted in a lot of action, lots of change. You get the idea from my super-short list.

"Power to create the world we want to see" by raising our voices? Would any of us speak words of justice and life? Raise your voice? My voice? Someone might hear, might even listen? We know Moses and Amos made a difference; so did Hannah and Jesus and Malala.

Jesus of Nazareth became a living word from heaven, moved into the neighborhood (as Eugene Peterson's Message version of the bible puts it), spoke justice, acted justly, embodied God's authority. Jesus was and Jesus is the word that Martin Buber tells us is "incomprehensible, irregular, surprising, overwhelming, sovereign." Buber adds, "Therefore it is the virtue of this word, and of this alone, to lead, that is to say, to show the way."

How about us? Last Sunday's readings from the Revised Common Lectionary again reminded us about The Way of Jesus, the Way of the Cross. Luke's New Testament book of Acts call Jesus' people followers of The Way—a way of living and being so different it inverts and subverts the old.

time flies CD cover
Huey Lewis & the News
Everything's gonna clear up
And the sun will shine
Everybody's gonna cheer up
'Cause it's redemption time

Don't you worry 'bout a thing
'Cause you know that
Things are gonna change
When the time has come

Walls are gonna crumble
And fall into the sea
Oh, all men will be humble
That's a guarantee

When the time has come

Scripture distinguishes between chronos that's the measurable, countable time on our clocks, devices, and schedules, and then kairos, the right and ripe fullness of time that's wholeness, redemption, and shalom. Huey Lewis & The News mean kairos, and they promise it seriously. This "redemption time" is what the prophets yearn for, sing about. This redemption time is what God through the prophets calls and charges us to help enact. This redemption time is the very un-ordinary dawn of the new day of kairos time.

So we had Amos a sheepherder, MLK a pastor with a PhD, Malala, a female teenager in a culture that devalues girls. Where else can we go to hear pleas for justice and equality? Simon & Garfunkel tell us about somewhere a lot of us urbanites have been: "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls, and whispered in the sounds of silence."

Overcoming silence with our words and actions? This kairos time is God's thing? Something God enacts? Remember God's dialogue with Moses: "Moses, your people!" "No, God, these are your people!" "Your people, Moses..." so it's always both/and.

Bob Dylan
Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide; the chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon, for the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who that it's namin',
for the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'

The line it is drawn; the curse it is cast
The slow one now will later be fast
As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Moses! Hannah! Jesus! MLK! Us!

Along with celebrating those other heroes who raise their voice, let's all raise our voices to overcome silence with our words and our actions, too.

BAD 2015 raise your voice

Since 2007, Blog Action Day has inspired bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about a single important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included Water, Climate Change, Poverty, Food, Power of We and Human Rights.


  1. Heisann! Interesting message and point of view. I do not to believe in a loving God, but I once said to a radio journalist, the world had been a better place to live if we all lived like Jesus... he raised his voice loud...
    Have a nice day ;:OD)

  2. I love how you brought all these positive voices together in your post, Leah. Down the ages we have such great examples of people calling us to raise our hearts, minds and voices!


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