Headlines from the New York Times for Wednesday, April 12, 2017
What Mississippi Taught Bobby Kennedy About Poverty – The toddler had no time for this white man in a fine dark suit. Robert Kennedy may have been a former attorney general and the brother of a slain president, but Annie White’s son was focused on the cornbread crumbs scattered on the floor of his dilapidated home in Cleveland, Miss.
Mr. Kennedy was in the Mississippi Delta, 50 years ago this week, for a Senate subcommittee examination of War on Poverty programs. While testifying before the panel, Marian Wright, a 27-year-old NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund lawyer, had sounded an alarm: The Delta was in crisis. The senator decided to see for himself.
What he saw on his widely publicized trip shocked a nation used to postwar abundance. Americans would be even more shocked to know that 50 years later, the Delta remains desperately poor. In the three counties Senator Kennedy visited, poverty rates for children younger than 18 still hover around 50 percent. Too many families there face a hard knot of problems: food deserts, failing schools, poor infrastructure, unhealthy populations, shrinking economies, the long shadow of segregation and discrimination.
If he returned to the Delta today, Mr. Kennedy would cheer the advances but be dismayed at how hard advocates must fight to maintain that limited progress. And his heart would break to see there are still so many children in the Delta, and across America, who, like Annie White’s boy, must grasp for every crumb.
Readings from Isaiah 42.1-4 for Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Since the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, the following verses have been accurately applied to him. However, in some way these verses can be prayed for all leaders, too. Jesus is the perfect model of what is prophesied here. Today, let’s pray for leaders who will strive to equal this picture.
Isaiah 42.1-4 – Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
Prayers for Wednesday, April 22. 2017
Dear God, we ask for leaders who bring justice to the earth and for leaders who contend on behalf of the vulnerable. We ask that you direct leaders throughout the earth to establish justice in the earth.