Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Yesterday the world stopped for just a moment as people held their breath when Judge Peter Cahill read the verdict of the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin. In that moment people wondered, “Would justice be done?” “Will riots break out?” “Is anyone above the law?” “Will this decision be the match that sparks the fire or the water that puts it out?”
Ultimately, I don’t think that there is a definitive answer to any of those questions as a result of the trial or the verdict. A guilty verdict on all three counts does bring accountability but will not restore life to George Floyd. Riots did not break out but the viral pandemic of racism and inequality that underlies the deep fear and skepticism in the black and brown communities will not go away overnight or in a month or a year.
The only definitive answer to these questions lies in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. Racism will only end when we truly recognize that all people are created in the image of God and endowed by God with certain unalienable rights. Lawlessness will only end when we find our beginning and end in He who is the Alpha and the Omega. A sense of “endowed privilege” will only end with the humility of recognizing that we are all
sinners in need of a savior.
I recognize that this may sound like pure idealism. However, the thing that shook the Roman Empire to the core was the very idealism found in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Where in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female as Galatians 3:28 so beautifully puts it. For the first time in history people of all tribes, languages, peoples and nations were bound not by a common nationality, culture, or language, but in the person of Jesus Christ.
Living out the idealism of Great Commandment and the Great Commission became the foundation for the nuclear family, education and hospitals just to name a few of the institutions that changed the world. We may not end racism or violence or poverty in our generation but in Christ Jesus we have the ability to make a huge impact in the lives of individuals and in our communities.
My prayer for myself and the diocese is that we will model for our congregations and communities the self-examination and repentance needed to make a change. That we will model for our congregations and communities the Grace received in Christ that allows us to step up and live transformed lives. That we will model for our congregations and our communities what it means to go into the world everyday living out the charge given at the end of our worship – “To go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!