The weekly email has been delayed due to the current news cycle. As you know, there are many things to react to. And if you know me, I'm not a reactive person. I observe, I think, and I am very deliberate with my questions and words. I have learned over the years that it is wise to wait upon the Lord and to be slow to speak. Another way of looking at this is to desire and and demonstrate the spiritual fruit of self-control.

I want to offer a response to the tragic and unjust ending of George Floyd's life. I saw the horrific video. I saw the actions of police officers and those who witnessed it. I heard George's pleas. Yes, it was difficult to endure. My discomfort and anger pale in comparison to the anguish he experienced and the grief that now overcomes his family and dearest friends. Additionally, my discomfort and anger pales in comparison to the anguish of those who endure suspicion or threat because of their race or ethnicity.

At this very moment, a flash-flood of sin's depravity is sweeping many people into its force. Anarchy knows no high-level water mark. It can reach my heart and yours. As a brother in Christ, I warn you to be on guard. Seek higher ground. I'd like to suggest the high ground of lamentation. A lament is a public and recognizable expression of sorrow, mourning, or regret. Biblical laments have a pattern: crying out to God; asking for help; and responding in trust and praise to God who is gracious and compassionate, answers all injustice, and restores shalom in His way and timing.

I invite you to high ground. I invite you to lament, publicly. How?

  1. Send this email to someone and invite them to lament with you. You can send it and invite them to pray with you out loud, over the phone, as you alternate paragraphs.
  2. If you have someone else in your household, pray out loud together by alternating paragraphs.
  3. At minimum, pray this lament out loud.

The power of lament is it's public nature. Let us pray:

Almighty God, Father in heaven and on earth, hear the cries of the broken-hearted family and friends of George Floyd. Lord, hear the cries of all who know the diminishment of racism, assault, and disrespect. Lord, hear our own cries of helplessness.

We beseech you Holy Spirt to minister to George Floyd's family and friends. Protect them from the consuming rage that burns around them in the streets and in social media. Lord Jesus, call your church to pray for them, surround them, guard them, and lift their eyes to you, their Savior.

We beseech you Lord to give governing authorities clarity of thought. Help them to sift through a violent sea of changing variables. Protect those who are on the frontline of physical confrontation. Quell those whose hearts are captive to the spirit of this age. We pray for chaos to cease.

We beseech you Lord to protect all who seek first your kingdom and righteousness. Lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from the evil one. Open our eyes to the truth of your word which says that judgement begins in your house . Convict us of any sin that aids the ruler of this world. Lead us into paths of righteousness for your name's sake for You are our Good Shepherd whose rod and staff will comfort us.

We beseech you Lord to give us insight and courage to be salt and light in the world. As salt, help us to be a preservative in society. Guard our hearts, guide our keyboards, edit our speech, increase the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. As light, help us to declare your lordship of all things.

Finally, we beseech you Lord to convict the hearts and minds of those whose actions relate to George's death. May your conviction lead to confession, repentance, and pleas for your grace.

Lord we trust that our strength will rise as we wait upon you. You are the strong deliverer. You are the everlasting God who does not faint or grow weary with us. You are the defender of the weak. You comfort those who are in need. You will lift us up on wings, like an eagle. You are our hope and strong deliverer. Amen.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Paul