The Liturgy of Trayvon Martin

For those participating in the Wear a Hoodie to Church event tomorrow, you might be interested in the following reflections from Michael Waters:

Symbols have long been important for religious and spiritual reflection. These symbols have been employed to provide greater understanding to transcendent truths, to provide comfort amid chaos, and to inspire the faithful to put their faith to action towards the common good. Many times, these symbols have emerged from rather mundane objects closely associated with a historical event.

Prior to the beginning of his passion, Christ blessed and broke bread as a symbol of his soon to be battered and bruised body. He blessed and poured wine as a symbol of his blood which was soon to pour from open wounds. These rather ordinary objects, bread and wine, are symbols that remain central to Christian worship in celebrating the Eucharist today.

And that wooden Roman instrument of public execution, the cross, has emerged as the primary symbol of the Christian faith. I have always wondered how baffling and unnerving it would be for a first-century Roman citizen to see a known instrument of death now adorned with gold and jewels and adorning countless necks while also on display in houses of worship and within our homes. Yet, the cross, as a symbol, now transcends Roman execution and is widely held as a symbol of victory.

Considering the brutal murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, three rather mundane objects have emerged as greater symbols towards reflecting on the historic and on-going persecution of Black masculinity in America and towards a newly-energized movement to end it: Skittles, iced tea, and the hoodie. It has been widely reported that as he was being followed that fateful night, Trayvon covered his head with his hoodie to conceal himself from his pursuer. Unarmed, much also has been mentioned of Trayvon’s sole possessions, a single bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.

Read the rest of the post here.

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