This morning, I found myself humming the familiar Lenten Hymn, “Were you there.” The full refrain is “Were you there when they crucified my Lord.”
I started to think about this lyric and how it could be posed to me and to us right now in human history.
How is our God being persecuted today?
I started to consider the LGBTQ+ community and the persecution they face, especially youth and adolescents who are committing suicide at an alarming rate because of the persecution they face. (Read more here https://www.thetrevorproject.org/…/pr…/facts-about-suicide/…)
I reflected on Veterans who commit suicide every 65 minutes in this country, battling PTSD and addictions, trauma and despair. How many do we walk by in the streets, ignore at work, avoid at all costs.
How do we treat those with mental health illness (1 in 5 Americans), and how do we treat vulnerable children and adults who are easier to put away or ignore then to love and provide care?
How many are persecuted as the result of war, political decisions, and greed, transforming families into refugees, sending them to horror and death?
How many are incarcerated (US leads the way in the world in incarcerated people, with great racial disparity), how many are innocent, how many are sentenced unfairly, how many are then limited in options following their sentence to contribute to society by laws related to voting rights and employment?
How many people are persecuted because of the color of their skin, the language they speak, the way they pray, the way they dress, the gender or non-gender that they identify, and who their family is or isn’t?
Over 2,000 years ago, we as a human society, persecuted Jesus. Before Him, and after Him, we persecuted and persecute others because they are different, because we fear, and do not try to understand.
So, yes this Lenten season, we can reflect back on those who sent Jesus to His death on the cross.
We might also consider who we send to the cross now, who we crucify by our words, by our actions, and by our silence.