This past week we have seen another horrible killing in SC. A young man, full of hate and demons, decided to kill 9 beautiful people and a colleague of mine, Rev. Clementa Pinckney. It is painful to me to think of his family and congregation. The pain they will go through and the grief they will feel. It will take them some time and I am sure they will heal, but life will never be the same. The world right now is groaning for the righteous to speak and to proclaim. Without the righteous, the world will lose it’s place. It is obvious to me that the divisive spirit is running wild throughout our land and it is time that we, the righteousness of God, put an end to it. I pray that we will not run down the ramp of racial hatred on either side. This was a racially motivated hate crime, and this young man should never see the light of day again. Yet, we should all fall to our knees and ask the Lord for His guidance and humble ourselves before Him
I have to admit to you, I don’t have any black friends. I just have friends, some black and some white. I have always refused to separate them by race. It has helped me over the years when things have happened to me. In 2010 I was shot at my church locking up. Amazing that this could happen. It was a young black man, 17 years old. It was, as far as I know, not racially motivated at all but needing money for drugs. I quickly forgave him and I have never followed up on the case since then. I did not want that to stain my heart and allow a root of bitterness to get in. The police and fire department that responded were amazing. For them to ride up on a hot shooting seen to protect me was calming. They had no idea what they could be walking into. The EMT unit that took care of me were made up of dedicated men, who only cared for me. Some were black and some were white. I am forever thankful. You see, most people are wonderful, they love their neighbors and will help those around them. For the most part I have found people to be good. The fabric of their DNA infused with the Kingdom of God and willing to love.
I want to warn us to not let the media's need for ratings and social engineering, to lead us down a road that we are headed. You see there are those who want to divide us. We must refuse as a society to allow that especially in the house of faith. A dear friend and I used to refer to each other as brothers from different mothers. Sydney is passed now; race no longer has any bearing on him. He is not bound by the hatred of men, nor the foolishness of race. He is set free, and we need to be as well. We need to resist the temptation to separate the nation, to divide. It will be bloody and painful if we don’t. More will die and more will be buried.
We can do our part to stop it. We can be victorious over sin and hate. Through the wonderful blood of Jesus who renders us all equal before the cross, we can come in and stand before God and ask for the healing of the Church. You see, the Church has left the truth of the gospel and now society has fallen apart. We need to preach the most wonderful message and shape it for every realm of society. There has never been a greater force in the earth to shape a holy and righteous society then the Gospel of the Kingdom. It creates hope and delivers the people from darkness. It changes hearts and blends us together. It is neither black nor white, but light and pure. It is full of love and truth. It brings us to a place of humility and not to a place of arrogance.
The world has tried to lead from it’s most fallen state and introduce to us something that sounded so wonderful, but was absolutely wrong. That is that we need to be colorblind. Colorblindness is not the kingdom. It says that what you see is somehow an error and you need to look past someone’s color. That is wrong all the way. We need to look at someone and see the true beauty in who they are. Black, white, and all the shades in between. God’s people are wonderful to behold. The wonderful differences and subtle shifts show forth His glory and wisdom. Satan did not create color, God did. He did it with a purpose. It was so you would take a moment and think and look. See the beauty of the creation and love the differences. Ignoring the color sounds good, but it leaves us with a problem. We are not loving everything there is to love.
If you are black, white, male or female it needs to be celebrated. If you try to tell someone to be colorblind, what does that say to themselves when they look in the mirror? Should they somehow not notice who they are? Should they somehow love themselves despite their complexion? No, I say embrace who you are in Christ Jesus and love it. Be the best person in Christ Jesus and learn to love. The church is the only one who can really fix the problem. The evidence of this has been seen in the response of the AME church in Charleston. Even through their pain they have forgiven and turned to Christ for strength. They have shifted a culture. Do you know that? It might not be that visible to all, but the culture was just shifted. Now, we need to take it all the way home and stop the hate. It might take us some time, effort and course adjustments, but we have now been given the assignment.
It is time to answer the Clarion Call; to stand up and love without fear; to help with out seeking reward; to elevate all to the place of abundance of hope and joy. It is our job to do it, and Christ is asking us to pick up the Torch and carry the Flame. When Satan comes at us with everything he has, we come back with the love and power of Jesus and destroy every yoke. It is up to us. Will you respond to the sound of His voice and say yes?
For there was sound that came out of Charleston. It was the sound of love and hope. It was the sound of His voice in His people choosing the Kingdom of love over the kingdom of darkness. Did you hear it? If not, listen again, listen closely, listen with your heart. Then hit your knees and ask God for the grace to follow His voice and let us together catch the wave of His Spirit.
Blessing to you all,