On the eve of Scotland’s independence referendum, Yes supporters rallied in George Square to listen to speakers and live music. But it was at the other side of the square, in front of Glasgow’s City Chambers, where the real interest of the evening lay for me: a group of our Catalan brothers and sisters arranged rows of coloured candles to show the Catalan and Scottish flags side by side. When the arrangement was fully lit, the gathered crowd cheered and began to chant “Sí! sí! sí! Yes! Yes! Yes!” A piper stepped into the middle of the square and began to play. It was without doubt one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I was tearful, and it was so powerful an experience that I left shortly afterwards, unable to take any more.
What a privilege. What a special time to be alive in this country.
Ryan Coogler is spending his Oscar Sunday without Oscar: The Creed director is instead holding a benefit titled #JUSTICEFORFLINT in Flint, Michigan, to raise awareness of the city’s water crisis. The event, free for any able to attend, is now streaming online.
The timing is accidental, though. Coogler says his activist collective, Blackout for Human Rights, decided on the date because it’s the last weekend of Black History Month. Ava DuVernay, Janelle Monae, and Jesse Williams are some of the celebrities set to appear, and comedian Hannibal Buress will host.
“With the #JUSTICEFORFLINT benefit event we will give a voice to the members of the community who were the victims of the choices of people in power who are paid to protect them, as well as provide them with a night of entertainment, unity, and emotional healing,” Coogler previously told BuzzFeed. “Through the live stream we will also give a chance for people around the world to participate, and to donate funds to programs for Flint’s youth.”
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. However, He has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say,
“When He ascended to the heights, He led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to His people.”
Notice that it says “He ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that He might fill the entire universe with Himself.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.