Carry On Young Prophets!

I stood in a sea of students, teachers, allies, parents, aunts, uncles, grandmas, and grandpas on a chilly morning outside an elementary school and read signs and listened to calm and thoughtful instructions preceding our march. We marched from the school to the steps of the courthouse here in Wichita, a short walk, but an important one.

I stood and listened to the students speak, the chants ringing out, “Not One More!” “Vote them Out!” The impassioned speeches of the students, governmental representatives, and teachers were articulate, committed, determined, and moving…I was moved to tears more than once as their words echoed off the surrounding buildings. “We should not live in fear in our schools.” “Something needs to be done, continuing to throw up our hands and say nothing can be done is no longer acceptable.”

A clarion call from these young voices for common sense gun reform, better background checks, the restricting or banning of military style weapons with large capacity magazines, better schools, better student to teacher ratios, more resources for quality educational relationships, and better healthcare, just to name a few. They were not unreasonable pie in the sky ideas, but solid and practical ideas to change their world, to make a difference.

These students are not the leaders of the future, they are the leaders of today because our current leaders seem unable, or worse, unwilling to attempt any change for fear of losing financial support and reelection. A leader in our government should make policy not because it will garner financial support. A leader in our government should not make policy because it will get them reelected. A leader in our government should make policy because it makes our country safer, more compassionate, and create a just and equitable society for the common good of all persons.

The students I witnessed today are done with partisan politics where lobbyists line the pockets of politicians to advance an agenda contrary to the common good of all. I hear and see in these young people today the words of the prophet Micah of what God requires of all of us, “To make justice happen. To love as God loves. To be the very reflection of God in the world.” Perhaps these youth, these rising young persons are the tangible, active, impassioned answer to all of those “Thoughts and Prayers” that get thrown around and said after every school shooting and tragedy.

As I stood on the courthouse lawn, with tears in my eyes, the words from the Prophet Jeremiah came to mind concerning his call. “Then I said, “Ah, God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But I heard God say to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you.”

The ancient prophets approached and stood toe to toe with the leaders of the empire and the religious leaders of their time and said, again and again, “Enough is Enough!” They were dismissed, told they were too young, too crazy, too out of touch. They were exiled, others tried to silence them, deflect from their message, and they were ignored. And yet, so many times, connected to God and the people, they changed the world around them.

I stood on the courthouse lawn and was inspired and moved by these modern-day prophets. Speaking truth to power, undaunted and fearless. For me, and my generation, my place is to stand with them, support them, do everything I can to strengthen their voice and resolve. If I am unable or unwilling to do that, I need to get the hell out of the way. For what I witnessed today was the power and resolve of community, of relationship, of truth.

Stand Strong Young Prophets!
Speak Loud Young Prophets!
March on Young Prophets!
Change the World Young Prophets!
I, and many are With You!
Carry On my Friends. Carry On.

Peace and Light for Our Journey Together,
Pastor Kent

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