July 20, 2016 – A Prayer for Peace, Love and Mercy

Join me in a prayer for peace. Join me in a prayer for love. Join me in a prayer for mercy.

The past week, and even the past few years, have brought to a head much violence, anger, and hatred throughout our country. Black persons express that they do not feel safe in their towns and cities. They feel they are unfairly targeted as perpetrators of crimes and brutally treated when they have done nothing wrong. Police officers have gotten a bad reputation as those who inflict violence on others rather than protect the safety of the community.

Like sheep without a shepherd, we divide ourselves into those two camps, as if the sacredness of human life could be doled out in categories. We ask questions like: Are you for the #blacklivesmatter movement? Or are you for the officers in blue? We assume that it must be one or the other; it must be one OVER the other.

My dearly beloved friends, this just isn’t true. Jesus came so that all may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Jesus didn’t come to pick and choose which people to love. Jesus came to declare the good news of joy and peace, of life abundant for all.

It is important that we declare that #blacklivesmatter because black lives do matter and in a culture and a society with a history of racism such as ours, we must make the affirmative stance. We must declare that black lives matter because we, as a society, have over and over done things that convey that black lives don’t matter.

And it is important that we support our police officers, many of whom are just as outraged by the acts of a few among them as the rest of us are. It is important that we pray for their safety because their jobs are dangerous and they so often put their own lives at risk in order to protect others.

So, I ask you to join me in a prayer. Join me in a prayer for peace. Join me in a prayer for love. Join me in a prayer for mercy.

Pray for the friends and families of those who lost their lives: We name Alton Sterling in LA, Philando Castile in MN, Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, and Michael Smith in TX.

Pray for those who were involved with these deaths: Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II in LA, Jeronimo Yanez in MN, and Micah Johnson in TX.

Pray that we would see our common humanity and that we would be moved to words and actions of peace, love, and mercy.

Peace,

Pastor Jill

 

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