Thank you Ms. Rosa, you were the spark,
that started our freedom movement,
thank you Sister Rosa Parks
—The Neville Brothers
“Will you really lay down your life for me,” Jesus asks an indignant Peter who thinks he’s about to be left out of something good. “You can’t handle it,” Jesus tells him, “in fact you are so week that you will deny me three times.”
One wonders how many times St. Rosa denied Christ’s call in her life before she was willing to lay down her life for the freedom of all. For forty two years she had complied with the evil demands of city leaders to assume an identity that wasn’t her. Maybe she, like Peter, had not been ready before. But for whatever reason, that day in Montgomery she recognized that the call for freedom was more powerful than anything the powers and principalities could do to her, and she refused to give up her seat so that others could sit.
The psalmist tells us that “Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will call upon the name of the Lord our God.”
On that day in Montgomery, Sister Rosa called upon the name of the Lord, and a movement was born.
Lord, we have only to look at your life to know that reconciliation always costs something. Whether we are old or young, strong or weary, rich or poor, supply us with the conviction that reconciliation is always worth the price. Amen*
*Prayer from “Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals” by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okora; Copyright (c) 2010 by The Simple Way and School for Conversation. All Rights Reserved.