In the first of three Bible study sessions at the Tenth Triennial Gathering in Minneapolis, acclaimed author Kelly Fryer urged attendees to follow Jesus’ example of fighting for justice, regardless of the cost.
“After all, you are daughters of a troublemaker. Right?” she said as an image of Jesus appeared on the screens behind her.
Fryer, who is the author of several books on faith and Lutheran identity, wrote Gather magazine’s summer Bible study, “All anew: Ready or not,” which encourages readers to follow Jesus’ example to stand with those on the margins, even at great risk to one’s own personal comfort or reputation.
On Thursday, July 13, Fryer led the gathering in the first session of the study, reading passages from Matthew 12 and Micah 1. Fryer compared the injustices Jesus and Micah spoke out about to those she sees in her own community in Tucson, Arizona, where she currently serves as the executive director of the YWCA of Southern Arizona, and the injustices plaguing America as a whole.
“God is in the streets, sometimes shouting through a megaphone, speaking through the voices of brown people and black people and young people,” Fryer said. “God is speaking truth to power, saying no to hate, sometimes getting arrested, doing whatever it takes to get our attention, and to make all things new.”
Fryer called on attendees and the greater church to, in the words of Micah 6:8, “Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.”
“We have never needed you more,” Fryer told the crowd. “Don’t tell me, ‘I am too old.’ Don’t tell me, ‘I’m tired.’ Don’t tell me, ‘It’s somebody else’s turn.’ You’re it.”
Fryer continued this theme in the second session of the study on Friday morning with a reading from Romans, noting Paul’s directive to not only respect governing authorities but to hold them accountable to care for those in need.
“Standing with those who have been sidelined, standing with those on the margin, standing with those who are poor, standing with those who are part of marginalized communities, that’s standing right there side by side with Jesus. That’s where Jesus is. That’s where God is. And you can’t open a page of Scripture without seeing that,” she said.
Fryer ended both sessions with a question, a nod to the title of her three-part Bible study: “Where are you being called to stir up trouble, as part of God’s mission to love, save, and bless the world,” she asked. “Are you ready?”
Download all three sessions of Fryer’s Bible study, “All anew: Ready or not,” from Gather magazine for free.