Take Me to Church 7/28/19: Particularity in the Lions’ Den

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Photo by Francesco De Tommaso on Unsplash

The king caved in, and ordered Daniel brought and thrown into the lions’ den.  But he said to Daniel, “Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this.”
Daniel 6:16

 

Daniel’s true crime might be described as what Community Minister André Daughtry described in his sermon today as “particularity.”  Daniel worships the God of Israel, quietly but openly flouting a decree that Darius be worshipped as a God (a decree that Daniel’s enemies connive Darius into signing).  Darius is reluctant to sentence Daniel to the lions’ den, urging Daniel to call on his God to save him.

The artistlike the exile, like the spiritual leaderis someone who answers the call to particularity.  André shared his photographs of Rev. Jeff Mansfield, a former community minister at Judson, which included an action shot of Jeff leading a Moral Mondays protest in Albany.  (“Leading,” it should be noted, is not the word Jeff himself would use.  Reflecting on the picture, Jeff instead described a sense of feeling steered by the protesters, of being in front “not because [he] knew the way, but because [he] knew they needed to get there.”)  Protesting systemic racism and poverty is, in these darkening days, still particular.

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