By Rev. Chris Brouillard-Coyle
We, who have been steeped in the tradition and story of Christianity. We, who have heard the Gospel proclaimed and preached. We, who have been baptized in the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We, who would call ourselves disciples and followers of Jesus Christ: Where do we think Jesus would be?
When Indigenous children were ripped from their homes and sent to residential schools, do we believe Jesus would have walked with those who took the children? Do we believe that it was Jesus working through the priests, nuns, administrators, and staff at residential schools who abused these children? Do we believe Jesus had a hand in the shaping of government policy that allowed for the starvation of these children? Do we believe Jesus was indifferent as dead children were buried in unmarked graves?
When workers at grocery stores and fast-food places report for work, do we believe that Jesus stands with their employers expecting them to give everything they have and hording the benefits of that work for themselves while leaving the workers struggling for survival? Do we believe that Jesus supports every protest against raising minimum wage because Jesus prefers bargain goods too? Do we believe that Jesus looks at our capitalist system that rewards the wealthy and punishes the poor and says as God once did at the time of Creation, ‘it is very good’?
When a tent city pops up because human beings have nowhere to go? When they have run out of options, when the wait lists for affordable housing stretch from days to weeks, to months, to years, where is Jesus? Is Jesus standing with those who are frustrated that their parks are littered with broken lives? Is Jesus among those who complain to the police when clothing is seen drying on fences because homeless people have few options after a hard rain? Is Jesus signing petitions to get rid of tent cities? Is Jesus among those who rip up these spaces and places to reclaim them for the masses?
During a pandemic, when vaccines become available to help slow the spread of deadly disease, is Jesus among those first in line? Would Jesus advocate to ensure his community benefited first and most from these life-saving measures? Would Jesus be indifferent to the inequality that would leave some communities without vaccines for extended periods of time because it is more important to ensure his community gets what they need? Or would Jesus stand among those who protest such measures, calling people names, and getting in the way of those looking for health care?
We, who have been steeped in the tradition and story of Christianity. We, who have heard the Gospel proclaimed and preached. We, who have been baptized in the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We, who would call ourselves disciples and followers of Jesus Christ: Where do we think Jesus would be in these situations and more? Based on all that we know and have heard in our faith journeys, where do we honestly think Jesus would be in these moments? What does this say about where the Church should be?
Rev. Chris Brouillard-Coyle is a tri-chair of SEJH and a tri-chair of Justice League of Huron.