Wednesday, September 27, 2017


In the award-winning movie “Norma Rae,” a young woman tries to bring union representation to a small Southern textile town. Norma Rae becomes very active in a local church and sings in its choir. In the course of working for the union, she needs a place for a union organizational meeting. Right away she thinks of the church. But the minister quickly rejects her request. The wealthy mill owners virtually own the church and the minister. Norma Rae keeps pushing but the minister becomes all the more unyielding. Finally she says s to him. “If there’s no room for justice in the church, there’s no room for me either.” The minister, with cold steel in his voice, replies, “We’re going to miss your voice in the choir, Norma Rae.” Whereupon she answers, “You’ll just hear it raised up someplace else.”

The church sometimes is unable or unwilling to demonstrate the love of Christ, but it must never fail the minimal standard of justice. The prophet Micah gave the church her marching orders: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)