A social justice movement grounded in the radical tradition of Jesus, who turned tables to interrupt the oppression of people disregarded by society.

All are invited to participate in table turning between Palm Sunday and Good Friday (March 25-30, 2018). Together we can reclaim the subversive movement of the one who said “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first."

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Table Turning is a rarely discussed part of the Jesus story. Just a few days before he was executed as an enemy of the Roman Empire, Jesus turned over the tables used by businessmen and bankers in the Temple, the epicenter of the Jerusalem’s economy, and invited in children and the "blind and the lame" who had been historically barred from entry. The voices of marginalized people ring out in the center of the city's social, economic, and religious hub while commerce is disrupted. Just before turning the tables, Jesus and the occupied people of the land had staged a performance (commemorated on Palm Sunday) that mocked the Emperor and offered an alternative vision of what peace and power could look like.

Tragically, institutional Christianity in the U.S. has become aligned with nationalism and capitalism. So the aims of Table Turning are:

  • Reclaiming the subversive tradition of Jesus in the public sphere
  • Centering marginalized voices to tell their own story and define their own identity, while interrupting a culture that allows only the powerful to be heard
  • Increasing participation in faith-based social justice activism
  • Repentance and realignment of our own lives away from oppression and toward liberation

As a holiday, Table Turning exists as a constellation of local actions occuring between Palm Sunday and Good Friday of each year. It is not meant to be the only time each year when churches participate in direct action. Rather it is meant to build a counter-narrative about religion and politics, and Christianity in particular. It’s a challenge to a faith tradition that has been seduced by incarnate capitalist brutality, to redefine itself based on incarnate liberating love.

Note from the organizers: We celebrate the immense contributions of Jewish communities to the work of justice. We acknowledge and repent that this is one of many stories about Jesus that has been used to justify anti-semitism. We believe that Jesus acted from within the Jewish tradition to emphasize it's emphatic commitment to liberation, not to reject or denigrate it.