Racism is not compatible with Christianity. Racism is a sin that separates us from God and one another. Jesus’ prayer is that we would be “completely one,” united in love for one another (John 17:20-23).
Last Saturday night, Chantelle and I were out of state visiting close friends when we began to receive news alerts on our phones reporting protests and violence across the country including Oklahoma City. I have been distraught, disgusted, depressed, angry, alarmed, anxious, and just plain sad after watching the killing of George Floyd.
Normally, I would talk with you and pray with you about these types of horrific events on Sunday morning at church only a few hours of their happening. While Church Online has been really helpful in this COVID pandemic, Church Online doesn’t allow for us to make changes to the service once it is uploaded, usually by Saturday afternoon. The timing and my being out of town caught us in an unfortunate place where we were not able to communicate quickly about the situations developing overnight. I am sorry.
So now, let me be clear. I ask for your prayers and participation and renewed efforts to take seriously our baptismal vow to “resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.” We are people called by God to “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
As your pastor, my mind goes to our families with black children and grandchildren and family who are at risk for violence because they are black. My mind also goes to our families who have sons and daughters and husbands and wives who are at risk for violence because they are law enforcement. Please pray and continue to pray for our black brothers and sisters in Christ and pray and continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in blue. Certainly, join me in praying for our black law enforcement officers whose burden is heavy in this season.
Pray for your church leadership this Sunday at 2pm as we consider how to come back together for in-person worship and keep everyone safe. The “Reopening Task Force” and your church staff have been excellent in their work to find ways to love and care for all of our family of faith. Thank you to everyone who took the survey. About 28 percent of you are ready to be back, about 28 percent of you are not, and about 28 percent are not quite sure depending on what restrictions will be in place. So, first let me say all of you are loved and valued by God, by me and Chantelle, and by your church family. Our first priority will be to keep an excellent and reliable Church Online experience available for all of us and our friends and family. Next, we will work towards appropriate in-person options and fellowship events as it is safe to do so. Pray for us. We have been praying for you.
Finally friends, remember that we are Easter people. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
We are Acts 2 people who take our name from the devout folks who were filled by the Holy Spirit from “every nation under heaven.” May the Spirit unite us in every way again this day!