“One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself  […]

You are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”

from No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu (1999)

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It was appropriate for God, for whom and through whom everything exists, to use experiences of suffering to make perfect the pioneer of salvation. This salvation belongs to many sons and daughters whom he’s leading to glory. This is because the one who makes people holy and the people who are being made holy all come from one source. That is why Jesus isn’t ashamed to call them brothers and sisters when he says,

I will publicly announce your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you in the middle of the assembly.

Hebrews 2:10-12

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At school, we played “Follow the Leader” – that game where we had to mimic what the first person in line did. If we couldn’t follow the leader we had to step out of the line. It was a fun and suspenseful game because we didn’t know what the leader was going to do next.

Jesus has been deemed worthy to be our leader by God. One of the qualifications of a good leader is that they have to be able to do themselves what they ask of their followers. According to the writer of Hebrews, Jesus demonstrated that he is worthy to be followed, for he was fully human. Jesus experienced the aches and pains of the body. He suffered death. Jesus also lived in a community. He shared meals, talked with, cried with, laughed with, danced with, and helped the people in his community.

And Jesus calls us brothers and sisters. Jesus is with us and illuminating Ubuntu – for Jesus could not be human by himself either. Therefore, as brothers and sisters of Jesus, we are in community with Jesus and creation. Jesus shows us the way. Will we follow?

Crystal Rook

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God, I am elated that I am a part of the community with Jesus. I am blessed to know that Jesus calls me his sibling and that I am a part of the grander human community – Ubuntu – for I am because we are. I am grateful that we are all connected. We are all one. Amen.

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Open our eyes to see everyone in our community.

Increase our hearing to listen to your creation.

Bless our hands to help those who need our help in our community.

Open our hearts to receive everyone in our community.

Teach us to be in community.

Water and Grow us into Ubuntu – the essence of being human.

Crystal Rook

Elder Crystal Rook, MDiv, MACC is an activist, community organizer, womanist preacher, and rising scholar in Winston-Salem, NC. She’s passionate about the intersections of food justice, faith, race, spirituality, and body politics. She enjoys watching movies, writing, coloring, and spending time with family and friends.

Take My Life and Let It Be

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