I know its been a tumultuous time these past days and weeks. This week we saw mourning and grief for Mr. George Floyd on full display. We have had time to absorb the magnitude of systemic racism and its cost to our society and way of life. There is palpable anger, resentment and even sadness.
I’ve said sadness because, as I look at our situation, its sad to think where we are in 2020. Today marks the 56th anniversary of the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by the United States Senate. There had been a 75 day filibuster against the act, and that filibuster ended 56 years ago today. The act was finally signed into law on July 2nd. Its sad to think that in all this time, we are still where we are with race relations in this country. This people of this country are better than this. We can do better and aspire to better.
In Jeremiah 29: 5-7, the prophet relays a message from God to the distressed exiles living in Babylon. They have had a hard time acclimating to a strange and different environment. They have resisted change. Now, God is telling them to settle in this new place, make a life for themselves and to pray and work for the welfare of the city. In the city’s welfare, the people will find their welfare.
I believe there is a message for all of us here in this word. We have allowed ourselves to be divided one against another, and in so doing have fractured our society. We have to learn how to live together, to work together, to seek each other’s welfare. Our own welfare depends on how we treat others.
We are at a tipping point friends, we can each decide will we resist change and see our society crumble, or will we embrace changes that will benefit and serve everyone? When we care about the treatment others receive in our system, we also are supporting our own welfare. Do we remember the greatest two commandments Jesus cited? Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. The second one, Jesus says is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
It seems we are indeed bound, one to the other. Our welfare is inextricably tied to the welfare of our neighbor. If we are going to survive, if we are going to thrive, it means we are all going to safeguard each other’s present and future. I pray this time is instructive for all of us. I pray that we find the will to love without exception.
Blessings and Peace,