This, friends, is the radical dream of Jesus: that his followers would exercise a different kind of power. Jesus imagined a world where power was exercised differently, where we understood power differently. In the Kingdom of God, or as Dr. King translated, in the beloved community, power is measured in compassion, in healing. Power is measured by justice.
As a kid, I couldn't have told you who Absalom Jones was. I couldn’t have told you he was one of the earliest priests in our church, the first man born into slavery and the ordained. I could tell you about a whole bunch of white men. I could list many of the presidents who were Episcopalian... Don't settle for a partial history, because sometimes you need the saints you didn't learn about in school.
There has been a great deal of debate in our nation over the last week and a half. Some folks said, in the wake of the attack, "this is NOT who we are." Other folks, including a number of my friends who are involved with the Black Lives Matter movement said no, "this is EXACTLY who we are." We could debate the meaning and merits of the arguments until we are blue in the face. I think a bigger question is at stake. "Is this who we want to be?"