What does it take? -

Pastor Matthew Best
2 min readFeb 6, 2023

Let’s explore some questions. I’m curious what it takes to stir people to action? That’s the question I want to play with today.

What is it that will rouse people from their routines to say “I’ve had enough!” Of course this can happen in various ways, not always for good. January 6, 2021 saw people stirred up and roused. Enough people were stirred to actual action in DC at the US Capitol causing damage to the building, and even death and trauma, smearing feces on the wall, busting out windows, taking over the House chamber. It was the angry mob with pitch forks taking over the building. But when the angry mob got there, they didn’t know what to do, and so they left and left a mess in their wake. Regardless, the initial question remains. What was it that caused them to be stirred to action? And what caused them to rise to violent action rather than constructive action?

This isn’t the first time in American history that people have risen to action. There have been rebellions before. Violent rebellions in fact. And there have been peaceful protests that have risen up too that have led to useful and needed reforms. And then there have been times in which the people just sat by and nothing happened — apparently times in which people either didn’t care or didn’t know what to do or something else, who knows.

I’m really curious about those times — the times when people sat by and did nothing. When people were abused and people didn’t speak up and didn’t act. Why? But other times people did. What was so different about those times? What was the key difference? Was there just one difference? I suspect it’s not that simple. I suspect there it’s far more complicated than that. Was there a key voice that rose up to kept speaking up prophetically making things uncomfortable? Was there a key protest movement? Was there a willingness to listen? Was there some kind of morality hanging over the people heavily at the time? What was it? Was it a generational thing? During times in which people didn’t respond, were the people dulled in their senses? How so? Were they privileged in some way? Drugged? Made comfortable? Were they let to believe something? Were they taught to not question something?

What does it take for a people to respond and put a stop to atrocities like mass shootings, racism, abuse? What does it take for people to be stirred to constructive action on climate change? What does it take for people to now longer put up with being lied to directly by politicians and corporations to our faces in the name of profit and power? What does it take? How much abuse needs to happen before the people will say “enough!”

Originally published at https://pastormatthewbest.com on February 6, 2023.

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Pastor Matthew Best

My name is Matthew Best. I’m an ELCA (Lutheran) pastor who attempts to translate church and churchy stuff into everyday language.