Friday, March 31, 2006

Jim Wallis lecture continued

Jim Wallis describes being at a service at Duke Chapel...

The homily was by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He gave a mission to all of us. His mission was this: "Are you ready to join with God?"

People of faith have changed the big things before. Pulpits have changed nations before.

Wilberforce was converted by Wesley, and they ended the slave trade in Britain. It took thirty years, they failed twenty times. And finally they succeeded, and Wilberforce died three days after they won, because his work was done. For a shining decade, heirs of slaves taught democracy to America in the name of Jesus, Isaiah, Micah and Jeremiah. My friends, we have done this before--we can do it again.

It's time to no longer just lament the political facts. It's time for us to change the facts. It's time for us not to worry so much about the religious right--it's time for us to offer a better way. A newer way that can draw a whole generation to faith *and* action. That's what I believe in...I believe in the possibility of changing history again, now as people of faith, we are a generation that God is watching. The new to-be prime minister of Great Britain--he'll be in office in about a year--he said to me "You know, for the first time in history we have the resources, the information, the technology to end poverty as we know it, but we don't have the moral and political will. He said, 'That's your job, in the churches." He was right, it's our job.

I ask my students, "What's the big thing that you're going to do? Don't give your life to something small, give your life to something big enough to be worthy of your agenda, time, energy..." It's time for a new generation to teach this nation that pulpits and faith and hope are all we need to change the political facts.

My friends, it's time for a new revival. A revival of faith. Because what changes politics are social movements--always have, always will. And the best social movements, are the ones that have a spiritual foundation. Don't lament the facts...don't just complain about other people. Let's call for revival, join a movement...and turn history around because it's time for us to join with God. Thank you very much.
Still to come--the part of the Q and A that took place before the batteries on my voice recorder died.

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