The full poem (by Martin Niemoller) is on the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts. Commonly known as ‘First They Came’, it starts out this way.
“First they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.”
It’s been re-written many times to suit current world events. You can search them all out under the heading, ‘First They Came.’
The question I want to ask you today is… what do we do with the’ firsts’ in our life. Look around. There is always someone in our community who is treated less than.
Do we watch and wait while people gossip, bully and attack them? Perhaps we are part of it.
When that person is ostracized, shoved out in one way or another, the next lowest is attacked. But we don’t care because …we are safe.
Then one day we look around and those in power are coming after us.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel. (Philippians 1:27, NIV)
Prayer – Oh God, give us the courage to do what’s right, because it is right and not because it is ‘our turn.’ Amen