Friends, we find ourselves in the middle of yet another episode of the serial tragedy of racial injustice in our country, and there seems like nothing we can do or say or feel or pray that will make it better. Indeed, we alone aren’t capable of making this situation better.
And so what can we do?
We can acknowledge the stark, evil, awfulness of the episode.
We can recognize the tragedy of the taking of George Floyd’s life and the immeasurable grief of those family and friends who knew and loved him.
We can name the racist and unjust systems that handed power over to the corrupt hands that then unleashed it on a vulnerable public.
We can pray fervently for change.
And we can work tirelessly for peace.
We can confront practices and attitudes in ourselves that unwittingly perpetuate racism in our lives together.
We can be careful to avoid judgmentalism and an accusatory tone toward all law enforcement based on the unthinkable actions of a few.
We can also take care to sift through the looting and damaging acts of rioters so as to still hear the powerful and important statements of protesters pleading for real change.
We can stand up to those who prescribe violence as a solution to anything. It is not.
We can listen and we can learn – especially from those who are most often voiceless, persecuted and marginalized in our society.
We can turn to scripture and read what God says about the inherent value of each and every human created in God’s own image.
We can lament.
We can cry out – as God’s people have so often – for justice and mercy and safety for all.
We can and should be the people of God – recognizing the awful brokenness of this world and still praying for God’s spirit to move within it. And in moving, to bring goodness and hope and love and unity to this fractured and weeping world.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers and send your consoling, merciful presence among your children this day. Amen.