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BY REV. AMANDA HAMBRICK ASHCRAFT

September 1, 2019


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Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka at the US Open.
Naomi Osaka, defending US Open Champion defeated newcomer Coco Gauff yesterday, then in an act of unparalleled sportswomanship, asked Gauff to do the post-game interview with her. (Via BBC News)
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” -- Luke 14:7-11
Did you worship somewhere today? Did the preacher preach on the lectionary text above?  I can’t stop comparing last night’s act of humility, sisterhood, confidence, and vulnerability between Osaka and Gauff to this parable in Luke.  

Such acts of selflessness raise the bar of humanity and remind us that black women have been leading the way forever.  It reminds us that in our humility we are exalted, yes and that there is power in recognizing all who play the game, no matter what the scoreboard says.  

We must let exchanges such as this rise in our newsfeeds and our hearts, even as during the same hour last night these United States saw another mass shooting at the hands of a white male terrorist.  
No matter how beautiful last night’s exchange on the courts was, there is no denying that we have a gun problem, a white supremacy problem, a masculinity problem, a Senate problem in this country. Email Senate Leadership and ask that there be an emergency session on gun safety and get involved with Flip the Senate today.  
God of grace, humility, power, connection and humanity,  when we see glimpses of your Kin-dom on Earth it makes our hearts happy.  It gives us the fuel we need to press on, even while hurricanes plunder and lives are lost at the hands of the NRA and the GOP.  Do what needs to be done in the hearts of each one of us, so that we may say to any one at any time, “Friend, Move Up Higher.  You’re amazing.”  Amen. 
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