Complete the Revolution

Get into this great revolution that is sweeping this nation and stay in the streets of every city, every village and hamlet until a revolution is complete. We must get in this revolution and complete the revolution. John Lewis

Never be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. John Lewis

Christ, who began good work in you, will complete your transformation, day by day and era by era. The Apostle Paul

Today we grieve the loss of a great American hero: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress.

He was a giant of the Civil Rights Movement whose righteousness, faith and courage God used in the moral transformation of this nation. John Lewis was bodily present in the most death-defying scenes of the movement—facing down discrimination at lunch counters, on burning busses and beneath the batons of troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Lewis’s skull was crushed on Bloody Sunday; yet, he marched on to complete the revolution. He served in Congress until his death—revered by colleagues across party lines. 

John Lewis never stopped fighting for liberty and justice for all—all ethnicities, all genders, all sexual orientations, all economic capacities. “Our minds, souls, and hearts cannot rest until freedom and justice exist for all the people,” he proclaimed during the March on Washington 57 years ago. Only a week before he died of pancreatic cancer, Congressman Lewis bodily visited peaceful protests in American hamlets to witness the next generation of revolutionaries pour into the streets to join in the work of liberty and justice for ALL.

Spiritual Practice

Lewis lived and taught the spiritual principle of redemptive suffering saying, “[There is] something in the very essence of anguish that is liberating, cleansing, redemptive… [Suffering] touches and changes those around us as well. It opens us and those around us to a force beyond ourselves, a force that is right and moral, the force of righteous truth that is at the basis of human conscience.”

He believed that the secret to the non-violent life is the capacity to forgive. 

Now, John Lewis asks US to march on and complete the revolution that he and King and others began in the middle of twentieth century; and if we do so, and if we prevail, it will be as the Apostle Paul observes: God who began the good work of the Civil Rights Movement through the redemptive suffering of prophets and warriors like John Lewis is sure to complete the work through the redemptive self-sacrifice of the next generation.

Lewis’s language around the Civil Rights Movement was shocking to some. By age 23 he was unapologetically clear, “Get into this great revolution that is sweeping this nation and stay in the streets of every city, every village and hamlet until a revolution is complete. We must get in this revolution and complete the revolution.”

May Congressman John Lewis, who began this good work for humanity, be eternally blessed. May your family and soul friends be comforted and encouraged. May the next generation finish your work in the power of the Living Christ, who is alive IN every person. Amen

Published by

Katie Martinez

Katie Martinez is a pastor and spiritual director living and working in northern Colorado—She speaks and writes about spirituality, leadership and the Martinez Family antics. Katie is married to Dave, and the two have four daughters, two sons in law, a boyfriend or two, four college roommates, one cat and three grandkitties. A lover of mountains, rivers, oceans and trees, Katie's favorite things are sleeping, waking, reading and traveling.

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