Today’s Reading: Galatians 3:23-29
I watched CNN last night for about an hour and just was speechless. I could not believe what I was witnessing again. We are witnessing something tragic and we just don’t know what to do. The solution is not as easy as we would like it to be. We can’t just stop the violence, the protests in Baltimore were non-violent…at first. We can’t destroy property and expect change, the damage caused will take millions and years to fix an already devastated community.
We are watching the results of broken systems and years of turning the other cheek. We are seeing people respond out of a feeling of hopelessness. Yet, what we also see is brave men and women standing up and trying to make a difference. The police and other first responders are there. Local Black fraternities are there. The Nation of Islam standing with pastors and churches in the gap trying to unite to stop the violence.
We see reporters flooding the streets and looking for answers to the problems. We see politicians calling for inquiries and promising answers. We see community leaders promising control and peace. We see police officials promising change and or answers. It all leads me to ask one simple question.
Where was all this before?
Why wasn’t the church and the Nation of Islam already working together in the community to bring change? Where were the reporters beating down the doors trying to get a real handle on what is going on in Baltimore and other inner cities? Where were the police officials when the community had concerns? Where were the community leaders when problems happened in the community?
Where were we?
I have an answer for that I think. We were watching a Bruce Jenner interview. We were watching the latest news about Beyonce or the Kardashians. We were focused on trying to find the latest way to insult the President, Hilary Clinton, or Ted Cruz. We were simply taking the time to pick bad guys and good guys without knowing the reality. We let the city burn. It was us.
Today’s scripture reading is a reminder to me. It is a reminder that we are all the same. In the eyes of God, these differences we have created mean nothing. Over the last 3 weeks in church we have been looking at the Resurrection appearances of Jesus in the Gospel of John. Jesus calls us to healthy living. Healthy living filled with shalom, community, and mission lived out as a response to love of God.
We need to live out our call to be people of peace, community, and mission. Living in such a manner we move beyond labels and systems of injustice. We work together, black, white, blue, gay, straight, rich, and poor. How much longer will we wait? How much longer will God have to wait?