Read Matthew 2:1-13.
Here’s what bullies do:
- They control and dominate.
- They are quick-tempered and impulsive.
- They take pleasure in seeing people in distress.
- They blame the target, saying they “got what they deserved.”
- They are intolerant of differences.
Jesus was born into a kingdom with a bully for a king. Herod was such a big ol’ bully that he ordered the death of all the boy children born in Israel during Jesus’ time.
Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life was also a bully. He saw a weakness in George and took advantage of it.
The opposite of bullies are allies. Allies believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect. Allies confront their own prejudices and biases. Allies listen with an open minds and do not make assumptions about others. Allies defend others against discrimination, and stand up when someone makes derogatory comments about people based on race, class, gender orientation, and sexual orientation.
TODAY’S ADVENT ACTION: Notice your reading list today—is it made up of cisgender, male, white people with privilege? For today, seek out a articles written from a perspective of oppressed peoples: LGBTQ, Muslim, refugees, and/or people of color. A good starting place is HuffingtonPost Black Voices, Latino Voices, and Queer Voices. I’ve been enjoying the writing of Starlette McNeil for a fresh voice in Baptist life. Who are some writers you’ve enjoyed?
ADVANCED ACTION: Only read sources from marginalized groups for an extended period of time. Two authors tell stories of having read people of color almost exclusively: Sunili Govinnage and Victoria Law.