The following are reflections are specifically in response to the recent “Unite the Right” rally in Charleston, SC, as well as potential nuclear threat between President Trump and North Korea.
This morning, as South City Church, gathers to worship God, we do so as people embedded in our society, a society torn and plagued by social sins of racism and threats of mass nuclear slaughter. Our worship cannot be removed or detached from our social context. Rather the God we worship and the faith we confess has bearing on our situations.
We grieve the effects of sin on ourselves and on our fellow-image bears. We grieve with a profound sense humility, knowing that we are equally culpable in evil. And we grieve knowing that sin is ultimately an affront to the glory of our God, a God of infinite worth and beauty; the God who created us for so much more — Himself.
We, as Christians, are a part of a much larger community — the Church composed of members from across time and space; a community who heritage and who make up consists of white people alongside people of color.
Today, as much as every other day, we have solidarity with each other. We are members of one body. To inflict one of us is to inflict one of our brothers and sisters. We cannot be apathetic.
We lament sin, and we pray for God’s intervention. We pray for wisdom and stability when governing leaders and nations may be tempted towards destructive action. We pray for reconciliation and the just treatment of those made in God’s image. And we hope in the promise of Christ’s return, a time when wrongs will be righted, wickedness judged, and all things will be made new — including us (’cause we need it).
We seek to be agents of change in our world. Too often the church has been silent and apathetic in the face of injustice. We self-righteously condemn previous generations of Christians for their error or silence when faced with the sins of their generation. All the while we are guilty of comparable silence and inaction ourselves. Our claim, “I would have spoken up and intervened if I had lived back then,” is disproven by the fact that we fail to do so now.
May the church — a people who love peace, not war; a community shaped by a gospel that reconciles and brings together people of all backgrounds — be a witness to our broken society in moments like this. May we as a church be those who seek justice, denounce evil, and speak on behalf of the oppressed.
Woe to those who proclaim one race as superior to others for they are blasphemers of God;
Woe to those who use imagery of historic hate and terror for they will face the wrath of a righteous God;
Woe to those who cause children of color to live in fear for they will inherit millstones around their necks;
Woe to those who chant “Blood and Soil” for they have forgotten we are all from the same dust;
Woe to those who fly flags our men and women died to defeat for they are a national disgrace;
Woe to those who protest over statues but not over human beings of color being killed unjustly for they have defamed the crown of God’s creation;
Woe to the silent ones for they are the ones who cause evil to triumph.
~ Jason Janz