All Lives Matter

We have a dream: this nation will arise,
and truly live according to its creed,
that all are equal in their makers eyes,
and none shall suffer through another’s greed

We have a dream that one day we shall see
a world of justice, truth and equity,
where sons of slaves and daughters of the free
will share the banquet of community.

We have a dream; our children shall be free
from judgements based on colour or on race;
free to become whatever they may be,
of their own choosing in the light of grace.

We have a dream that truth will overcome
the fear and anger of our present day;
that black and white will share a common home,
and hand in hand will walk the pilgrim way.

by Michael Forster
from Complete Anglican Hymns Old & New #715

Are those words but a dream? Or is it the beginning of the fulfilment of the dream..? Or is it but another bunch of useless words, to annoy some, and, or to placate others?
Why all the questions? Well simply at a point of my life in the past, the words held a very powerful and symbolic infusion of something that could become a reality, I do confess that for the present it has changed back to something in the very distant future that may or may not come to pass,, as seen recently in the USA, and most certainly from my personal experience in South Africa and in the UK
The words concern that very intrinsic evil of society called RACISM.
It is intrinsically evil, because it informs the surface what is happening deep down in the minds, and heart of humankind (in fact I am even loathe to use the words humankind with regards to ANYONE who is a RACIST)
As I am unwilling to believe that any decent God Fearing, and God Loving person who forms part of Humanity will even condescend to the very thought of being A RACIST.
Diane and I have lived through this Racism for many years, as an anti-apartheid activist, as well as having been incarcerated because of such activism .
Some years back during my ministry in Wales, on more than one occasion, I witnessed as this racism reared its ugly head, where with people of colour, myself and Diane were abused.
The question I ask is where the church have been in all this ….? Or….what has the church to say about this? Frankly they have been where they always are, in their private snug little places, and they have said what they always say ….nothing. Or they become “nominal Christians
”, rising to the immediate response , and well frankly , just leaving it there , without any follow through , without any sustainable guidance , and help for those who have been abused .
We as people of God in the church are challenged, to begin a journey of confrontation to rectify that silence, to assist all Gods people who dream the life of anti-Racism, by actively engaging in a process of teaching their people, that it’s not good enough to remain silent, that it’s not good enough to stand in the shadows, and say …”O shame “we would never expect it “…amidst many other clichés
Dear friends, lets free ourselves from the shackles of silence, and become active partners, in supporting those who are in the throes of fighting all forms of racism, and injustice….because ALL LIVES MATTER TO God …….the question is ….when the roll is called up yonder will you be there ?

Robert F Dennis (Chaplain)
St Andrews Chaplaincy
PAU, Aquitaine. France
June 20202