For several years running, a few congregations in Chicago have occupied Palm Sunday.
They've done it out of a belief that it's time to tell a new story, and it's time to do it in a public way.
. . . because staying within four walls is no way to imitate Christ's ministry.
. . . because we need to stand up and speak up to be heard above the noise of today's 24/7 entertainment culture.
. . . because we live under Empire, and we must act or be suffocated.
Think back on everything that has happened in the last year. Is it time for things to quiet down? To have a "nice" spring? To sit back and be entertained by the usual presidential campaign circus?
Or is it time for people everywhere to Occupy Palm Sunday?
|#occupy . . . Palm Sunday March 20, 2016 (Please retweet this message.)|
Occupy Palm Sunday 2016 in Chicago - Public housing units are being eliminated at Lathrop Homes on the north side of Chicago, and there is no plan to replace them--contributing to the re-segregation of the city and the gentrification of surrounding communities. Let's tell Mayor Emanuel, "STOP DISPLACING LOW INCOME FAMILIES. PRESERVE LATHROP HOMES AS PUBLIC HOUSING!" Watch and share this #OccupyPalmSunday: An action for public housing in Chicago video.
Meanwhile, Community Renewal Society has declared a Palm Sunday Takeover: "Join members of CRS and take over EVERY Chicago Police Station as we PRAY and DEMAND action in support of the F.A.I.R. C.O.P.S. Ordinance."
Chicago, March 29, 2012 -- Members of congregations from across Logan Square and Humboldt Park streamed from their respective houses of worship to the Logan Square monument at the end of services on April 1 to Occupy Palm Sunday! Participants sang and chanted songs of protest and praise as they occupied the green space at Kedzie, Milwaukee and Logan Boulevard . . . .
(See Occupy Palm Sunday! in Logan Square)
God's old covenant with his people -- the Old Testament -- looked like this: "Here's the deal: You be loyal to me, and I'll make sure the earth produces enough food for you." Jesus came along to say: "Here's the new deal: God loves you enough that there's enough for everybody, AND he's given you what you need to figure out how to share it." (Dios nos ama suficiente y hay suficiente para todos, y el nos hay dado lo que necesitamos pero nuestros tenemos que encontratr la manera de compartirio.) That is the new covenant -- the New Testament.
(See Occupy Food Justice!)
I've been thinking about the Occupy movement and what it has to do with Christian witness. The conclusion I've come to is: a lot! In fact, I think it's central to our understanding of what Christ's life and death meant.
(See Occupy Palm Sunday! )
Faced with chorus of voices saying, "Isn't it time for you to tone it down? Can't you be more reasonable? What is it you want, anyway?" Jesus kept right on doing what he was doing. And that was a sign to us about how to live our lives . . . .
(See WWJD? Occupy! )
On Palm Sunday, March 24, 2013, people who long for peace and justice in our city gathered at St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square to begin to talk about what real change would look like. It was a joyous and hopeful event as we aimed to eliminate all violence in our community in 10 years! Zero in Ten.
(See Photo Gallery: Palm Sunday 2013 - "I Will Be a Remedy for Violence!" on the Remedy for Violence blog.)
Palm Sunday - April 13, 2014 - Building on the success of our December 2013 “Posada for Public Housing,” we focused on issues of housing in Logan Square as we heard testimony from people experiencing eviction and foreclosure and campaigning for quality, affordable public housing. We considered faithful responses to our neighbors' needs, and provided opportunities to get directly involved.
(See What do we want? SALVATION! When do we want it? NOW! on the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance blog.)
On Palm Sunday -- March 29, 2015 -- following weeks of preparation by means of devotions and discussions by member congregations of the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance, in close collaboration with ARISE Chicago, LSEA held its 4th annual Palm Sunday public witness for justice.
(See Palm Sunday 2015: "We Who Are Many Are One: From the Lord's Table to Every Table" on the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance blog.)