Black Lives Matter
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
This verse came to mind as I watched the news and read the articles about the escalating violence in US cities following the murder of George Floyd. Not as something to be said to those who are protesting against the racism and injustice, but to myself and those in society who are in a position to do something to change the status quo.
To act justly means that I am called to speak out when I see injustice, to support those who are experiencing prejudice at the hands of others, and to also allow the Holy Spirit to convict me of thoughts and attitudes in my own heart and mind that perpetuate the misery of others or silently condone, through inaction, the actions of those who do so.
To love mercy is to recognise that we are all broken and flawed in some way, and to be judgemental in mind or spirit does not show mercy, love and grace to those who are acting out of their own hurt and pain of which I know little or have even ever experienced.
To walk humbly with my God is to keep a short account with Jesus and allow Him, by the Holy Spirit, my conscience or the words of others, to convict me of where I fall short in my thoughts, words and deeds, and seek forgiveness from those I’ve wronged, and pursue justice on behalf of those who cannot speak out.
I have no comprehension of what it is like to be treated differently and worse because of the colour of my skin or my racial background, but I know that I believe in, and try to follow, Jesus. God made man, who taught and demonstrated that we are all created by a loving God who sees us as we are, with loving kindness as his only filter. I need to do that more in how I live out my calling as a church leader and also recognise, celebrate and cultivate the richness that diversity of race and culture brings. Forgive me for when I haven’t done so and the pain that I have caused as a result.
The murder of George Floyd was wrong, as is the unlawful killing of every person of colour at the hands of those who should be protecting them. The prejudice that people of colour experience in their everyday lives is wrong and there is no justification for it whatsoever. The inequality as a result of race that we see, and which is experienced by too many people in our world is wrong.
It is not enough to hope for a better society, we have to play our part in creating it.
Heavenly Father, Your Kingdom come. Your will be done. Amen.