Hope In Christ
By now, most, if not all of you have heard of the guilty verdict returned by the jury in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, the trial deemed necessary because of the globally watched lynching of George Floyd. For many, it is a time of cathartic release and victory. For others, it is a sad reminder of the darkness of sin that continues to exist in this world as revealed in the shooting death of a 15 year old girl, by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio, captures headlines today, a death that occurred on the same day that Derek Chauvin, a police officer, was judged guilty for killing another civilian, George Floyd.
As I have processed what took place, quite honestly, I am not too high or too low. It would have been a gross and grotesque miscarriage of justice for Derek Chauvin to have been judged not guilty. The whole world saw what he did and his legal team's attempt to get him off by saying that George Floyd had pre-existing conditions that caused his death was a transparent smokescreen from the truth. George Floyd's primary pre-existing condition was that he was a black man doing the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people.
His wrong thing could have, should have and would have been handled quite differently if he had been rightfully arrested by the right people; but, that was not the case. And, so, he was murdered for all the world to see.
It was one of the purest manifestations of sin in this world that we have had in modern history. And, it took a long time for justice.
Now, I, for one, do not consider George Floyd to be a martyr. He did not willingly die for a cause that he believed in which would be the basic criteria to be a martyr. But, he was a part of a cause, whether he signed up for it or not. It was the cause of basic human rights which he was denied.
As I tried to put the pieces together, rather than continuing to look at the endless news feeds that are going to run for days, weeks, perhaps months until Derek Chauvin is sentenced and we get to see if our yearning hunger for justice is met, I turned to God's word.
In God's word, it reminded me that George Floyd did not deserve to die because he was a part of humankind envisioned by God in Genesis 2:7, "then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being."
Derek Chauvin was a descendant of the first man who God created. So was George Floyd. George Floyd tried to remind Derek Chauvin of that when he said, "I can't breathe.", breathe the breath of life that God has given to all of humankind. May we be reminded of that in how we treat other human beings.
In God's word, it reminded me that George Floyd did not deserve to die because God desired to preserve humankind in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:13, "You shall not murder."
George Floyd tried to remind Derek Chauvin of that when he said, "I can't breathe." as he was being murdered by Derek Chauvin.
In God's word, it reminded me that Derek Chauvin acted as an oppressor over one whose skin color made him worthy of being oppressed, at least in Derek Chauvin's mind, as the color of our skin can cause us to awaken day after day with a spirit of heaviness similar to that borne by the Israelites in Lamentations 5:5, "With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven; we are weary, we are given no rest."
George Floyd, a black man but not a martyr, at least to me, tried to remind Derek Chauvin of that when he said, "I can't breathe." as he cried for compassion in the midst of the heinous crime being committed against him.
In all that has occurred, beloved, what are we to do in this world today as reminders of our similarities of being descended from the same original man indicating our natural connection with one another as part of the human race is marred by indignities that seem to make justice for us look more like a far-off vision rather than a near-term reality?
We must turn to God. We must turn to God. We must turn to God.
For, in God's word, it reminded me that God sees all, God knows all, God can do all, and God will do all in God's perfect sense of timing, even bring justice to this often unjust world. For, in Ezekiel 34:16, God said through the prophet Ezekiel, "I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice."
And, to bring us into a fullness of what God can and, prayerfully, will do, in God's word, it reminded me that in John 10:10, Jesus gave a warning and a promise, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
Beloved, we should protest unjust laws that create unjust outcomes and consequences; but, we must remember that the law cannot and will not make people love one another. For the Christian, only coming to God through Jesus Christ as guided by the Holy Spirit will make that possible.
The world needs Jesus. Derek Chauvin needs Jesus. We need Jesus. I need Jesus. You need Jesus.
For, in Jesus, we find our only hope for those who want to make a lasting impactful change in this world for the cause of Christ and the glory of God, even in the midst of darkness and tragedy.
So, while you watch the news unfurl, I strongly encourage you to hope in Christ.
We will find hope in Christ at Noonday Prayer.
We will find hope in Christ in listening to our sermonic message on The Light radio station and internet at 3pm.
We will find hope in Christ in our HOPE Wednesday bible study this evening at 6:30pm.
We will find hope in Christ at Sunday morning worship service.
And, we will find hope in Christ at Sunday School at 6pm on Sunday evening.
As you make time for things in the world that may give you plenty to talk about but little to aspire to, make time to strengthen your faith by making time to gather with us as we seek hope in Christ.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too.