A Word from the Regional Bishop-Elect (June 2020)
It's Time for Divine Justice
Dear Fellow Laborers In the Faith,
Like many of you, I have been sorely affected by the final words of George Floyd, “I can’t breathe,” as he lay dying on the street under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.
We’ve all watched and participated as masses of people from every walk of life have taken to the streets in protest against systemic racism and systemic disparities against brown and black people. Systematic injustice and racism by far is the greatest sin of humankind.
Scenes of police brutality and modern-day lynching play repeatedly in our heads as we search for answers from our faith to make sense of it all. God does give us comfort and resolve by allowing us to see protests are happening around the world. These shows of solidarity assure us that most people are for us and not against us.
I want to remind us that our brown Jesus Christ also experienced police brutality which led to his earthly death. It is ever so important that, as people of faith, we boldly join the cry in denouncing and condemning this cancerous sin that seeks to kill, steal, and destroy the beloved Community of God. Lethal racist violence is derived from the forces of evil that seek to choke the life out of community and society.
As faith leaders, we must take a stand for the America we want to have vs. the America that is today’s reality of weak substance, weak accountability, and weak leadership in its highest office. We are called, not only to speak truth to power, but also to act. We must take action according to Micah 6:8 which gives us direct instruction from the Most Highest, our purpose and responsibility to love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with our GOD.
Let us be a voice of reason in this turbulent season. Let us step to the forefront of this movement and offer encouragement, wisdom and hope. Just as we have taken a leadership role during the health pandemic, we must do the same in this systemic injustice pandemic. Let us be seen with the people and not above the people.
Finally, God’s time of justice is now. In Exodus 12:40 we read: ”Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years” (NIV). Four hundred years ago, enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia in late August 1619. If the number 4, 40, or 400 represents completion, then it’s time for African Americans to come out of “Egypt,” too. I believe by faith that the current events happening in the world are the catalyst that will catapult equity and equality for all people, the catalyst to the end of oppression.
As a community, we have suffered major losses because of this hate pandemic and the health crisis. We have seen a lot of death, whether spiritual, political, or physical. But our faith reminds us that resurrections follow death. Jesus, our sacrificial lamb, is our example. And the scripture reminds us: “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24, NIV).
As traumatic and painful as it is, this season is producing something that will make the world a better place for future generations. Let’s just say the Health Pandemic was the John the Baptist to the Hate Pandemic which will lead to the resurrection of a new dispensation. As faith leaders, let us continue to spread the message of love, mercy, and justice to the world as we lead.Ω