This Youtube video, “The Role of Nonviolent Direct Action in Christian Peacemaking,” is from my recent presentation at Parkside Church in Sacramento. It includes stories about what has shaped my peacemaking journey over the years. It also includes stories about Jesus and his participation in nonviolent direct action, which inspired both Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. in their organized nonviolence campaigns.
I hope this video inspires some readers to come to the main gate of Beale Air Force Base at 6:30 a.m. on the morning of March 5 to participate in the Ash Wednesday Service of Repentance that will be held there. The service will be led by clergy from several denominations. It will involve a call to faithfulness and action, songs, prayers, scripture, and Holy Communion. We will use ashes to symbolize repentance and to acknowledge our mortality and interrelatedness with the whole web of life.
All people of conscience, including people from various spiritual traditions, are welcome to join this action, and to bring whatever signs or symbols they find meaningful. To find out more about the Ash Wednesday events go to the Earth Justice Ministries FaceBook page or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can “join” the action on the Ash Wednesday FaceBook Event.
I am posting this video about nonviolent direct action and Christian peacemaking because the Service of Repentance at Beale is taking place on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a Christian holy day. Here are a few excerpts:
Nonviolent direct action is the culmination of Christian peacemaking. Jesus engaged in nonviolent direct action every time he ignored the purity codes of his day, every time he healed on the Sabbath. It culminated in the direct action at the Temple, when he overturned the tables of the moneychangers there. Jesus really was a subversive. He really was a threat to the domination system of his day. That’s why the authorities put him to death.
Christian peacemaking takes conscience, it takes courage, and it takes commitment to follow Jesus into the heart of the struggle for a better world. Jesus called that better world of peace, justice, compassion, and healing “the kingdom of God.”