Social Solidarity - The Cross & The Tomb
What is social solidarity? Is it possible? What will it take?
Is social solidarity even possible? What exactly is it? How would it look? It would look like the newly built community by followers of Jesus in Acts 4:32-37 after he ascended back to heaven.
All IN: They were one in heart and mind
NO HOARDING: No one claimed personal possession of assets
WILLINGNESS: Gave out of their own will
TRUSTED SYSTEM: Donated to the apostles
JUST SYSTEM: The Apostles distributed according to need
COMMUNITY MINDED: Shared everything they had
SPIRIT-FILLED: Continued to share the good news of the risen Lord
GRACE FILLED: Transformed, enabled by grace
NO POVERTY: No one was in need
SAFETEY: There is a sense of security balanced with public safety
Perhaps this is what Peter remembered (2Pe 1:5-7) when he listed his seven ingredients to stir our faith and love into a lived experience. The 6th ingredient listed is mutual affection or sisterly/brotherly love. All previous ingredients are related to soul care. We need to take care of our mental, emotional and spiritual health. Peter turns us now toward a rhythm of social solidarity through mutual affection where people are mutually attentive to God and the needs of their community. This community fulfills the greatest commandment to love God, love others, and love self.
What thoughts come to your mind as you read Acts 4:32-37? Which attribute captures your attention? Where would you like to see this happen in your social circles of relationships? What is God’s invitation to you and the church?
Social solidarity is what it will take to rebuild our lives our world
Sitting at the cross. Staying at the cross. Seeing Jesus. Surveying the hateful actions afflicted on Jesus. You can sense the powerlessness the world can inflict on you even when you are doing what is right and what is good. Jesus was bringing goodness to all. The world is blind to true goodness. Good for others means bad for self. They turned on him, shamed him, nailed him to the cross, and sealed him in a tomb. They relished in their wits and abilities in getting rid of Jesus and his leadership. The goodness of Christ exposed the corrupt/sinful nature of self-preservation that forsakes social solidarity. The Holy Cosmic God violated at the hands of humanity. God lives in solidarity with the vulnerable.
We try to do what is right and good. We work hard to survive the rat race. We earn our keep, yet we become targeted, shamed, and victimized. The cross connects our story with Jesus. It illustrates how we are held down by the injustice of hostility. We live behind bars of discouragement, wounds, exhaustion, loneliness, and meaninglessness.
Social solidarity comes with a cost, but w also gain a community. We see many prophets in the bible being killed. We see bold activists harassed, arrested, and assassinated. It is a tough, lonely, painful, risky road. Yet their stories inspire us to keep going. We have a cloud of witnesses cheering us on (He 12:1). Jesus affirms this group when picked up the cross and walked that road to Calvary and paid in full the price for our release. Jesus is the cornerstone for social solidarity. Jesus invites us to pick up our crosses and follow him (Mt 16:24).
How is your time at the cross? In what ways do you feel pinned down by the world? What are your thoughts regarding Jesus’ invitation to pick up your cross and follow him?
At our 7 am Sunrise Service by the East River, we read aloud three chapters in Mark covering the entire account of Easter. We had an intimate time sharing our reflections, worshipped in song and dance and took communion together. It was hard getting up and being there at 7 am but it was worth it. I wanted to know what it was like to be with the women who had reasons to rise early to go to the tomb and encounter the empty tomb.
It is at this empty tomb where I sat and pondered. People obviously made up false accusations against Jesus and had him killed. Sounds like the same news we are hearing today? These people thought they had put an end to the threat of losing popularity. They schemed. They lied. Felt smug on Saturday. On Sunday, when the sun was rising, the tables turned. They were the ones powerless. Jesus was alive. In the tomb, Jesus takes the breath of life, opens his eyes, sits up and walks past the large stone, and greets his friend, “Hi Mary.”
Sitting there, I felt my body coming alive too. I am not stuck in despair or hopelessness. I just need to take in the new breath of life, open my eyes, flex my muscles, and remove the grave clothes as I take hold of myself. I get up follow Jesus and walk past the large stone and greet the world re-centering my life with Jesus. Is this what he meant when he said to deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow me?
Have you spent time at the tomb? Where do you see yourself at the tomb? What are you doing? What thoughts are going through your mind? How might you be feeling?
The path toward social solidarity includes suffering the hostility of the world with a purpose, facing our limitations, and live alongside the risen Jesus, and creating a new community like the one described in Acts 4 where social security does not run out and no one is left alone in need. In what ways is God inviting you into this journey for social solidary?
Pastor May Lee
Upcoming Events for May
Monthly Celebration Service (Every 1st Friday of the month)
Stir Up the Faith and Serve It with Love - LOVE the Finishing Touch 2 Peter 1:5-7
We come together to grow in community for inner transformation and social integrity.
Come celebrate the love of God that has been poured out to each and everyone of us. Through songs and reflections on God’s word, we are refreshed! In sharing our stories we are bond in friendship creating a community where all are welcome and taste the sweetness of life with God.
Friday, May 6th • 7PM - 8:30 PMZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 895281
JOG (Journey of Grace) Small Group
Weekly on Sundays • 11AM - 12:30PMZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 429125
Join us for time of self-care in community through moments of personal silent times to reflect, listen for God’s voice, and journal. We come together to help each other quiet ourselves down in a world filled with noise and exhaustion. We come to help each other make sense of God’s presence in our daily lived experiences.
Friday Friendship (Every 3rd Friday of the month - formerly Communion Friday)
Jesus calls us friends. Come and be part of God’s commutual community deepening our spiritual relationship with Jesus and with one another. Through fellowship, prayer and breaking bread we nourish a deeper connection with God, with our social circles of influence, and the world.
Monthly - Feb. 18th• 7PM - 8:30 PMZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 895281
Bible Reflection (Every Saturday Evening 9pm - 10pm)
Our souls need nourishment as much as our bodies. Together we listen the God’s word allowing it to pour over us lectio divina style as the Holy Spirit speak uniquely into our lives. We then share with each other our insights and enter into rich conversations.
We are currently reading from the gospel of Luke ZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 895281
Offering / Donations!
We currently allocate 90% of tithes towards our staff stipend and 10% towards an organization supporting our community during this time.
Your donation is tax deductible. For administrative purposes, please fill out this Google Form each time you donate to GAF.
Donate via ACH/Wire: Use Account #: 875101564230; ABA #: 031101169; Alternative ABA #: 031101279 (ACH payments only).
Donate via Check: Mail your donation to Manni Lee, 275 South Street, Apt 19D, New York, NY 10002.
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