Overturn (Day 23, Thursday)

March 07, 2021, By: Jimmy Scruggs

Starter Prayer: Liberating God, again and again our brains tell us we are in danger when in fact you are trying to save people. Help us let go of our questions about your methods and join you in the work.

Focus Phrase: Overturn

Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity has a loose connection to one of the clergy persons whom Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed in his now famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The clergy persons to whom he wrote were asking him to cool the temperature of the Civil Rights Movement and wait more patiently for change to unfold.

Like these pastors, have you ever felt the urge to condemn the violence or quell the unrest related to a movement for justice? 

Perhaps you agreed with the general premise of the change requested, but you disagreed with breaking any glass, shouting and raising fists or assembling unlawfully. Perhaps you’re for equal rights, but disapproving if a member of that movement kneels during the national anthem. Perhaps you’ve posted MLK quotes on facebook as a critique of protest methods that cross the line for you. Do you question the methods of women who take their story of sexual harassment to the press?

This very week, people are having an allergic reaction to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry exposing what they experienced as oppression from the Royal Family.

I suspect most of us have had one of these reactions or done one of these things.

Garrity’s painting and reflection are meant to help us think about the disruptive process of confronting oppression. You might also like to read MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” While Garrity’s painting on page 21  illustrates Jesus’s disruptive method, King’s letter explains why disruption was necessary to overturn oppressive systems in the Civil Rights Movement.

Be encouraged in your practice.

Katie Martinez


  • Read and Reflect on p. 21-22 of Again & Again. The link is in every Journey email. If you’re not getting those, register here.  
  • Read MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”.
  • Questions for journaling and spiritual conversation:
    • What new thing are you learning about yourself as you listen to Garrity, Jesus or Rev. King?
    • Who are you in this tension: A disruptor like King or Jesus? A disciple who questions disruptive methods? A clergy person calling for moderation when a liberation group does violence? Are you one who employs the “boths sides” reasoning when one side is clearly oppressed and the other side clearly has acquired power unjustly? Or are you a faithful protester who is tired and weary and praying for a breakthrough?
    • What change would you like to see in yourself or in the cause you care about? Personalize the starter prayer and carry it with you today.
  • As the week unfolds, what word or phrase captures your attention? Weave your word into the prayer wall at the Taft Avenue facility; or text your word to 970-500-0970, and the prayer team will weave it into the wall for you.


  • For daily texts with the Focus Word, Starter Prayer and link to these daily posts, text the word “lent” to 970-500-0970.
  • Join Ryan on Facebook Live, every weekday morning at 10am for spiritual conversation on these Lent themes.
  • Looking for the link to the digital devotional or your copy of the print version? Register here.
  • Join the Orange Dots of Hope Facebook Group for spiritual conversations.

This is part of Again & Again: Journey of Lent 2021 with Crossroads Church. The theme, devotional booklet, poetry and art is the work of the creative community of theologians and artists at A Sanctified Art. Crossroads is grateful for this resource!