Pastor David, how may we bridge the divide?
If we call the USA home, last week was bitter-sweet for us. We had just celebrated our freedom living here, and more importantly, our true freedom in Christ as citizens of God's kingdom. Shortly afterwards, we were deeply saddened by the tragic loss of 2 more black lives, and also 5 blue lives from retaliatory evil. Here's a PLUG for how we may respond as Christians and church to this recent chain of tragedies?
1) Pray - For Christ followers, communication with our all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving Father ought to be our first rather than last resort at all times. We must pray for God's comfort of families, friends and communities that have lost loved ones. We must pray for repentance, reconciliation and restoration, things which only God can do (with our cooperation) in humanly impossible situations such as these.
2) Listen - It's easier for us to express our personal prejudices and partial perspectives than to truly listen to stories of those, who because of the color of their skin, have lived their lives under institutionalized injustice. We also need to hear stories of people entrusted by God and us to uphold justice in our land. Better yet, we develop respect and friendship. Best yet, if we are spiritual siblings in God's family.
3) Unite - Anger, polarization and disunity are our default reactions and the demonic strategy, but the Jesus way is to pro-actively pursue peace, harmony and unity. As Christians, we sometimes play the role of antagonists against people who represent injustice and hate. We sometimes are allies, even with people with whom we fundamentally disagree on non-racial issues. We are called to be "co-belligerents".
4) Go - In addition to the above actions, let us purposefully explore how we can make a difference as individuals, church and community. God will not lead everyone of us to an identical course of action, and sometimes we may disagree in specifics. But as long as actions are consistent with the Gospel, let us seek to be supportive of each other. As one in Christ, we must demonstrate our oneness in the Spirit.
Tonight (Wednesday July 13) we are meeting at the church office (291 S Van Brunt, Englewood) to car pool to a prayer service in New Rochelle. This will allow the participants to pray, listen, unite and go. All are invited.