December 5

Read Mark 11:27-33.

By what authority?

is another way of saying

Who do you think you are?

Why are you here?

You’ll never belong in this temple.

You’re not one of us. 

Have you ever noticed

that one’s authority is only questioned

when boundaries are pushed,

when a line is crossed,

when tables have been turned?

Authority is only an issue

when the wrong people –

the people who are meant

to stay in their place,

to keep quiet 

and fall in line – 

wield it.

Authority is for 

the authorities – 

the ones who have earned it.

By what authority?

is the same question

asked of people of color who say: 

Black Lives Matter. Stop killing us! I can’t breathe. 

asked of women and LGBTQIA+ folks

who step into pulpits and preach sermons;

asked of refugees and migrants

who seek safe asylum at our borders;

asked of all who dare to speak 

unpopular truths to powerful  systems.

To be fair 

to those who questioned him,

it’s difficult to recognize

the way, the truth, and the light

in human form.


God who crossed boundaries and turned tables, lift our voices in songs of protest against unjust authority, and help us recognize you in our midst. Amen.

Rev. Jessie Light-Wells

Campus Minister


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