by Pam Tinsley
In his March 21 sermon, a preacher I know quoted from the movie Justice League: “Evil doesn’t sleep; it waits.” The text for the sermon was John 12:20-33, and Jesus tells his followers that their discipleship has a cost. He also proclaims that the “ruler of this world will be driven out.”
The ruler of this world is evil, and evil still wields horrific power. Our nation has just witnessed yet another racist and misogynist hate crime perpetrated – this time against women of Asian descent. This heinous act of violence and terrorism reminds us that the pandemic of racism relentlessly ravages our nation and our common humanity. These evils aren’t new. For those of us who are White, the evils might appear to be beneath the surface and then erupt. For those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), these evils are pervasive. Instead of confronting and telling the truth about racism, our nation has chosen to ignore it or believe that it doesn’t exist. It does exist. Evil waits. It waits for opportunity.
One of the promises we make at Baptism is to renounce the “evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God” (BCP, 302). There is no doubt that racism, domination/supremacy, terrorism, or violence – whether physical, psychological, or verbal – are dehumanizing evil powers. And the fight against evil requires both our words and our actions.
As we will soon promise at the Great Vigil of Easter, let us “reaffirm [our] renunciation of evil and renew our commitment to Jesus Christ.”
I’ll be the first to say that this isn’t easy. Yet, it’s incumbent upon us all to take this vow to heart, to follow Jesus into the hard places where he leads us, and to name and confront the evil we encounter daily wherever we are.