Reading and watching the news of the killing of another black man in Minneapolis and the resulting rage and rioting, do our eyes glaze over? Or do we get filled with rage looking for who to blame and hurt?
In our hyper-polarized war-zone we call a country, we must look beyond thinking this is a political issue. This is also more than a matter of justice.
Our hearts should break when unarmed black men lose their lives at the hands of individuals sworn to defend and protect their fellow citizens. Those who perpetrate such crimes should be punished to the full extent of the law. But that is not enough.
As a nation we need healing. As a nation we need to search deep in our souls in order to come together.
Racism remains a deep wound within the American society. The horribly destructive sin of racism scars all segments of our national family from those living in the projects to those living in gated communities. The long history of racism has century old roots which continue to birth its weed as seen in blighted neighborhoods, under-performing schools and jail cells. Even though we try to eradicate it, the seeds of this weed continue to blow and take root.
Jesus says his enemy is the one who plants the weed (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43). Looking at another human being and seeing them as less than human is satanic. Our prejudices of race, sex, religion, etc., within ourselves which cause us to see another human being, as being less than the child God created and for whom Christ died and saved, come from the abyss of Satan. Malice and hatred are the fruits of wickedness and have no place in the life of people cleansed by the blood of the Lamb (Gal 5:19, Col 3:8, Eph 4:31, Rom 1:9, Tit 3:3). We must keep our eye on the real enemy if we are ever going to win the war on racism. We must see the spiritual oppression if we are to find healing.
Does knowing that George Floyd was a committed Christian change our perspective of this tragedy? “George Floyd was a person of peace sent from the Lord that helped the gospel go forward in a place that I never lived in,” said Pastor Ngwolo of Resurrection Church in Houston. Floyd wanted break the cycle of violence he saw among young people and used his influence to bring in outside ministries to do discipleship and outreach in the Third Ward, particularly in the Cuney Homes housing project. George Floyd always said, “God trumps street culture”.
In this moment, as Christians we must proclaim that God trumps racism. God trumps the wickedness of this world. As we are called to follow God, we are called to witness to His Kingdom. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” (Proverbs 31:8) This senseless, wicked tragedy is more than a political issue, more than a justice issue. This is a matter of the Kingdom knocking down the gates of hell.
We are confronted with the wicked catastrophe of human existence every day. We cannot avert our eyes because we want to avoid the ugly truth of this sin-soaked world. To avoid the ugly truth of wicked weeds of our world is to avoid looking at the cross.
We are baptized into the cross so we can have the courage to look at the world the way it really is. We are baptized into the cross so we can look at ourselves the way we really are. We are baptized into the Cross of Christ so we can look to him for our salvation and hope. We are baptized into the Cross of Christ so we can rely on the Holy Spirit to walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:6, Eph 5:2)
As Christians we are empowered to lead the way. To confess and repent of this rooted evil. God calls on his children to “fast from injustice and oppression.” (Isaiah 58:4) God promises that this is the path so that “our light will break forth like the dawn.” (Isaiah 58:8) Then we can model the way of Jesus for our neighbors. Then we can imitate Christ in the way of love by giving ourselves as a fragrant offering (Ephesians 5:2)
God Triumphs Over the Weeds. Amen.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give us peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with us all. (2 Thess 3:16) – Pastor Douglas