While empire in Jesus’ time consisted of distinct forms of oppression including military occupation, violence, unjust taxation, and slavery, … we have to look deeper and wider to put a recognizable face on empire. … As stated in To Seek Justice and Resist Evil, contemporary “empire is not dominated by any single state but by a network of powerful economic interests held together by the ideology of neoliberalism,” and furthermore, is a system in which most of us play some role, wittingly or unwittingly.
Living Faithfully in the Midst of Empire, United Church of Canada, 2006
We acknowledge that we gather upon the traditional territories of the Mississauga Anishaabeg, Haudenosaunee and Wendat Indigenous Peoples, the original nations of this land, who continue to cry out for justice.
prelude – Entry of the Kings
Opening – Prepare ye the way of the lord
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was not a simple act of obedience to God, following some preordained path to destruction and ancient prophesy. It was a radical challenge to an Empire that could not be physically resisted. It was a powerful act of political theatre and call to revolutionary change that still reverberates today. Unfortunately, empire continues to dominate our lives.
Let us prepare ourselves to join Christ’s parade into Jerusalem by first asking each other for forgiveness.Read More »Disrupting Empire – service text
As Canadians and Christians we feel a lot of social pressure to be nice. To not cause trouble. Especially for folks who seem nice. Nobody should be distressed. Let’s keep everything, on the surface anyway, agreeable and pleasant. Well that’s nice isn’t it? Sometimes it’s even a good thing. But sometimes what is required is real honesty. Whether that’s telling our true feelings to a friend who needs to know, or speaking a difficult truth to those in power. Or even challenging our own assumptions.
However, that desire to smooth things over can be overwhelming at times. We may choose silence or couched words over challenging conversation. Or we may avoid someone or something altogether rather than offering a challenge and engagement that might spark personal growth or a healed relationship.Read More »Disrupting Empire – Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as political theatre
The story of Palm Sunday is a story of theatrical resistance: a usurping of entrenched authority…