Listen friends:

What a time to be alive! What a time to be alive!
The revolution has come
What a time to be alive! What a time to be alive!
When we stand up, we’ve already won.

People all over the world are standin’ up
sayin’ “We ain’t goin’ take it no more.”
Speak truth to power; a change goin’ come.
This we know for sure.

Rev. Sekou and the Holy Ghost

This is the sound of faith: “The confidence in what we hope for and the certainty about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

This is what I want: to sing this song and know it to be true. To sing this song with hundreds of people. Loud. Strong. Filled with confidence in what we hope for and the certainty about what we do not [yet] see. I want us to sing this believing that when we stand up, we’ve already won!

When teaching this song to an audience at St. Mary’s College of California, Rev. Sekou asks, “How many y’all believe we won?” There are doubters. He speaks to that: “This is a faith claim. When poor kids in unimportant parts of the world stand up to the empire and refuse to bow down, we’ve won.”

A faith claim: certainty about what we do not see.

What we DO see is evidence that the empire is mighty. It has riot gear and machine guns. It has laws and courts and cages. It has a thousand ways to protect the powerful and even more to punish the non-compliant.

But keep listening: “When you think about the level of militarization by police forces – you don’t pull out tanks and tear gas when you’re winnin’! You pull them out because you want to crush it, because they winnin’. Because oppressed people typically function at the behest of the empire – so they go where they supposed to do, they put they head down and they act like everything’s alright.” 

Whether we are oppressed by the empire or privileged by it, we are invited to stand up and look the empire in the eye. Each of us is called to do that in particular ways. How we resist depends on our situation, our place in the system, our gifts and our call.

But friends, the revolution has come. We are invited to stand up and speak truth to power. And to know for sure that when we do, we have already won!