An impressionable lesson I learned as an adolescent was the difference between persistence and consistence. The idea offered was that consistency is not as important because we can repeatedly fall short of what we are called to do. Virtue is persistent because it acknowledges how we regularly face challenges and always seek to be whole.
This Sunday we are celebrating Black History Sunday. We will celebrate and learn from the long journey seeking justice and peace in our world. It has been an unpredictable venture of violence and healing. There have been moments of unspeakable pain and injustice, and there have been times of Divine glory and redemption. We know this too well as over the past 15 years we have welcomed the election of the first African-American president, and also been stunned with a rebirth of racial injustice.
Humanity's yearning for justice and peace have been going on for nearly 400 years. Pain, suffering, and violence always find a way to disrupt life. The Good News from Peter is that what defines us as Christians is the eternal life and love revealed through Christ's resurrection.
Jesus was always, persistently, centered on bringing people to God. Christ wanted to be the bridge between the Divine and humanity. The writer of Peter's letter points out how Jesus was faithful to the mission even in the face of death. However, it was the release of life that empowered Christ to bring God's peace to even more people. Jesus always persisted no matter the trials and challenges to bring God's justice, peace, and love to the world.
Our call is to be persist and to be defined in terms of the eternal life of resurrection. We are called not to let grief, fear, and loss deter us from seeking relationship with others. God and Christ have compassionately insisted on reaching us no matter the resistance they experienced. We are called to do the same. The heroes and heroines of black history reveal to us how the persistent, compassionate yearning for holiness in humanity brings forth God's peace. Let us follow their lead to be united with God.