Rosa Parks

A reading for Tuesday, December 1, 2015: Daniel 2.

Exactly sixty years ago today, Rosa Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, AL for the return trip home after a long day at work. She paid her fare and took a seat in the first row of the "black section" ten rows behind the seats designated for "whites only." As the bus made its stops it continued to fill up with both black and white riders. When the bus made its stop by the Empire Theater, the white section was full and several white riders needed a seat.

The bus driver moved back into the aisle and motioned for four black riders to stand up and give up their seat so those that were white could sit. All but one of them immediately got up. Rosa Parks moved over into the window seat and refused to move. She was arrested not for sitting in the "whites only section," but for disorderly conduct.

When asked about the incident, Parks said: "People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in." She had paid for her seat and was tired of giving in to a system of power and control that claimed that didn't matter.

Perhaps Daniel too was tired of giving in to the power and control of King Nebuchadnezzar. When he heard that they were to be executed for others failure to interpret Nebuchadnezzar's dream, Daniel decided to act. He prayed to God, and asked the others to do the same. Grant us the courage we need and the wisdom too, in order to navigate the dangerous world around us. God was faithful and Daniel and the others were saved.

Daniel prayed: "To you, O God of my ancestors, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and power, and have now revealed to me what we asked of you..."

Perhaps today is a day of prayer too. Is today a day when like Rosa Parks we are tired of giving in? Tired of giving in to violence and war, oppression by those that control power, and the apathy towards those that suffer? Tired of giving in to an economic and political system that doesn't serve the people, but uses manipulation and corruption to its own ends? Tired of giving in to racism and classism and ignorance?

Perhaps today is a day of prayer when we like Daniel might ask God for wisdom and power? How can we be part of the changes we hope and pray we might see in the world around us?

Sometimes change doesn't come in grand, sweeping strokes of legislation or organization. Sometimes change comes when average, everyday people decide they are tired of giving in. Like Rosa Parks... and you!


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