Day 5

Holy rage


  • 2 Samuel 12:1-12
  • Mark 11:15-17


In the passages today, both David and Jesus demonstrate holy rage through a strong resistance and anger towards the situation in front of them. Throughout Scripture we are reminded that injustice can provoke strong emotions, anger and even violent responses. These can be heightened when people have been deliberately silenced.

Throughout history we have seen a demand that comes from the oppressor to marginalised people to smile and make merry, to sing the songs of a happy past. Whether it was in minstrel shows, or Geisha dances, or Wild West cowboy and Indian shows, the oppressors have demanded that the oppressed perform happily to ensure their own survival. Their message is as simple as it is cruel; your songs, your ceremonies, your cultural identity, that which makes you sacredly unique, is only allowable so long as it serves us.

Even when the victims of oppression are encouraged to tell their stories they often find that people are only willing to listen to their pain and sadness, but draw back when they articulate angry demands for change.

Martin Luther King Jr said: “…in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard…. our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay [on justice]” He understood that the path to true peace lies in the healing of relationships through the work of justice, addressing the barriers that keep people from feeling included as full members of the community.

Are we truly ready to listen to the experiences of those who have been oppressed? Are we open to their tears but defensive against their anger? How might God be calling us to act to address the suffering that prompts this rage?


You ate their meagre fare

you drank from their cup

and then you showed no remorse

As surely as the Lord lives

no justice, no peace

We chew up their stories

we pollute their wells

and then we show no remorse

As surely as the Lord lives

no justice, no peace

Turn our tables

set a place for everyone

disrupt our comfortable seats

drive us out

hungry for justice

thirsting for peace

As surely as the Lord lives

no justice, no peace


God of the oppressed, open our eyes to the harm that continues to be inflicted on our siblings in Christ. Give us the courage to stand up and advocate for all who are silenced, even if it means releasing some of our own privilege to do justice.


  • Think of a situation in history where a community was able to channel its rage at injustice into meaningful positive change. What can we learn from this story?
  • Who might be most marginalised and at risk of being ignored in your local community? How can the Church help amplify their voice?
  • How could you help raise awareness today about a situation of injustice in the world?

Go and Do


  • Research opportunities to participate virtually in global gatherings to raise awareness of situations of injustice, connecting with people across borders and cultures.
  • Identify a group in your local area that is working to address the exclusion or stigma that can leave people feeling unheard or unseen, and support one of their events or initiatives.
  • Consider using social media, or other personal networks, to share examples from around the world of people who are courageously speaking out to challenge injustice.

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