From Pastor Gary ….
Making Sense of our Two Pandemics
We are facing two pandemics.
Since March 15, or thereabouts, we have been battling the worldwide pandemic caused by the coronavirus. More than 110,000 people in the United States have died because of the virus, many of them a horrible death because how it attacks the respiratory system. Thankfully, 506,367 were diagnosed with the virus and survived. (According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus website.)
On May 25, a tragic death of a man handcuffed by police in Minnesota triggered peaceful protests for change and unleashed unfortunate riots, looting and violence on our nation’s streets. This is the second pandemic: the ugly stain of racism. While we wait for researchers and scientists to develop a vaccine to curb the COVID-19 outbreak, no vaccine is on the horizon for the second pandemic. It is going to require the “home remedies” of listening, love for neighbor and courage to confront the evil of racism. It is going to be a hard road to navigate.
A friend sent me a video from a pastor in Australia. He shared a vision he had about the issues facing the United States. His church has been praying for our country and he described two forces of fear and hatred colliding in a great battle. In the middle of these two granite giants was the Church of Jesus Christ, rising in the middle with hands raised pushing the two apart. Elsewhere, the dogs of war, restrained for now, were barking and straining with its attention squarely on the battle going on in America. The stakes are high, he said, and while this is a dark image, he assured his viewers that he and his church stand with us in prayer.
I shared the wonderful words of 1 Corinthians 13 at a funeral service recently. Verse 6 says, “It (love) is never glad about injustice but rejoices when the truth wins out. (New Living Translation)
What is our response to injustice? Do we rejoice when truth wins out? The immediate answer that comes to mind is “Yes, of course.” But when I look deeper into my heart, I often want to avoid injustice. It is often messy and complicated. I don’t really “rejoice” in the truth because I don’t stay in the moment long enough to do that. How about you?
I believe God is calling us to condemn injustice, in whatever form it presents themselves, and to not remain silent. Let us commit to one another to do better. Let us not remain silent in our time with community, neighbors, friends and family and find winsome ways to condemn injustice and promote truth. Let us not remain silent in our alone time with God and instead fill that time up with rejoicing when we see truth win out, praying for God to protect and preserve those who suffer from injustice