What Would Jesus Do?
Grace and Peace be to you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I write to you as our country is gripped in unrest, discontent, and fear, in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. Protests have erupted not just in Minneapolis, but in towns and cities all across our country, including right here in Maryland and Delaware. Across the nation, some of the protests have resulted in violence and property damage. However, the actions of those who choose to destroy property do not lessen the enormity of the crime that has taken place.
At this juncture, we have all likely seen the video over and over again. People around the world are appalled, and rightly so. As people of faith, we should be appalled as well. It may feel like we are insulated from this as we go about our daily business in and around Preston. But as Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, while he was held in the Birmingham Jail for his part in peaceful protests against the segregation and racism that were the way of life of that time, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” He called on all people of faith to stand up for those who could not stand up for themselves.
As I watch and listen to the news, I find myself asking that question that we as people of faith all have to wrestle with: What should we do? As we follow our leader Jesus Christ, it is appropriate to ask: what would Jesus do? In this case, all we have to do is open our Bibles to find the answer. Jesus is crystal clear. He always sides with the voiceless, with those who have been looked down on, on those other people refuse to even acknowledge. He always sides with those who lack the power, position, or prestige to speak for themselves, to stand up for themselves, to fight for change for themselves. Jesus is also very clear that violence is not the answer.
I encourage all of us to come together to respond to this national crisis. First, let us come together to pray. Pray for the healing of our nation. Pray for peace and an end to the violence and looting. Pray for comfort for the families who have lost loved ones. Pray for justice for the victims.
Next, pray about what you can do to effect change in our community and in our country. I am reminded of what the Old Testament prophet wrote so many years ago. What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
As people of faith, what can we do to be part of the fight for justice for all?
Impossible, you say? During this week after Pentecost, when we celebrated who we are as the church and the coming of the Holy Spirit to all who believe, let us remember that the Holy Spirit has come to empower us to do the things of God. As author and pastor Charlie Holt writes, “the two agents of change in the world are the Holy Spirit and the people of God.” We have been given the Holy Spirit to empower us to bring about the transformation of the world. May it be so!
In Christ, Pastor Linda