This is a difficult day for our country as the pains and wounds of decades of racial, economic and social injustice have come into play for everyone through the events in Ferguson, MO. Let us join today in prayer for people in Ferguson and around the country who are working to act peacefully in a tense situation. It is important to step back and remember that the overwhelming majority of the population there and around the country support engaging in peaceful demonstrations and do not condone violence in any form. At the same time, we are reminded that it is very difficult for someone to know what it is to be in another’s shoes. It takes time and a good deal of energy to try and understand another’s experience. We sometimes think that we do, only to find out that our assumptions can be completely wrong.
Fortunately, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus comes as one of us – all of us. He came into a world of suffering and injustice to make clear that God is for us, not against us, and that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Jesus’ heart was for the poor, the sick, the captives and the oppressed. He came to identify with those most in need and to bring reconciliation and hope. I encourage us to look to him today and to see him in the faces of the many people of Ferguson.
We will have various points of view regarding the outcome of the Grand Jury’s deliberations. However, let us not lose sight that the divisions within our culture continue to be real and they cry out to be addressed. The church has a unique place of trust in our society and can be a place to hold the difficult conversations which need to be held. Let’s make opportunities to be in honest dialogue in a context of mutual acceptance. Greater understanding can come as we all open ourselves to listen, hear and allow ourselves to be blessed by deepening our understanding of each other.