Bishop Jung's Soul Food: We Shall Overcome


Soul Food 

We Shall Overcome

“We shall overcome…oh, deep in my heart I do believe, we shall overcome someday!” These words are no less true today as they were originally sung so many years ago. I sing these words as we lament the murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five police officers in Memphis.
The worldview that creates a division, tension, and acts of violent aggression requires us to examine our Christian response.
“We’ll walk hand in hand…oh deep in my heart I do believe, we shall overcome someday.” Today, we walk hand in hand for those that mourn, grieve, and suffer for the loss of human life, dignity, respect and justice. It is our social responsibility of the Church and Christians to create a world in which each and every person is treated equally and preciously.
John Wesley said that “Prayer is where the action is.”  So, we must pray for a more just and fair society.  My hope is that our prayers drive us to a deep self-examination about the beliefs, systems, and policies that are contrary to the path of nonviolent love and peace of Jesus Christ.
“We shall all be free…oh deep in my heart I do believe, we shall overcome someday.” This month marks the observation of Black History Month, a time when pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society ( I think about the tradition of the Black Church, which created a golden stem of noble faith even in the midst of oppressive systems and structures, and how that movement makes us more inspired and grateful.  In the history of black people's liberation, we see the story of hardship becoming a flower and the story of victory over darkness becoming a song of resurrection.
I ponder how the Gospel of Christ was proclaimed on the streets of America through Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We inherit this passion in our hearts and the nonviolence in our love. The fact that love wins is enough for us to celebrate our Black History Month together.
“We shall live in peace…oh deep in my heart I do believe, we shall overcome someday.”
We live in a world that desperately needs peace - peace from violence, aggression, and divisions. We look to the Black Lives Matter movement, which has shown us what we did not want to see:  the injustice of our systems and the call to remember the names of those that have been treated inhumanely and died violently and cruelly (some even called out for their mom!).
We give thanks for those that have bravely stood before us as living examples of Christ’s love.
“We shall overcome…oh deep in my heart I do believe, we shall overcome someday.” Amen.


Hee-Soo Jung

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).