Spark House Sunday school

Highlights for July-August

Yearning To Breathe Free: A Reflection On the Murder of George Floyd

By Pamela A. Lewis

“It demands great spiritual resilience not to hate the hater whose foot is on your neck, and an even greater miracle of perception and charity not to teach your child to hate.” — James Baldwin

America has been and is a place of irreconcilables. In contrast to the stalwart Pilgrims and other early settlers who survived perilous journeys to forge new lives are the indigenous peoples whose territories were taken from them and who became displaced persons within their own lands.

There are the soaring words of the Declaration of Independence, which speaks of humanity’s God-endowed freedom and unalienable rights, penned in elegant calligraphy by a man whose slaves were not meant to be included in those words. America is a place where a black man has served two terms as its president, yet one where an unarmed black man can also die from a white police officer’s pressing his knee on his neck.

I want the whole story:

Recognizing moments of gratitude during a crisis

By Heather L. Melton

In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others. — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

The above quote was written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer while imprisoned in Germany near the end of WWII. Bonhoeffer, a German theologian and Lutheran pastor, was being held in prison for treason after participating in a plot to assassinate Hitler, for which Bonhoeffer was ultimately executed. The entire process of writing Letters and Papers from Prison relied upon individuals putting their lives at risk to bring Bonhoeffer writing supplies and to make sure his texts were delivered to those who would preserve them.

In this context, gratitude was likely much clearer, as the costs were especially high for those helping him. The quote makes clear that Bonhoeffer recognized that when everything is going perfectly (or as close to perfectly as we can encounter), it is easy to assume that we have achieved security, happiness or success on our own and overlook those that aided us. It is in moments of struggle that we then realize that our lives and achievements are woven tightly in with the lives of others.

I want the whole story:

Follow us on social media
Follow us on social media
EJ Sidebar Subscribe
CPG Shareholder engagement
Disciplines
Want updates? Get our newsletter!

Past Featured ArticlesOther EJ resources

Newsletter Signup

Sign up now and never miss a thing!

You're Signed Up!

Now that you are signed up, we will send you exclusive offers periodically.