Dear Parish Family,
We live in such a volatile day, in a volatile country, in a volatile world.
The Coronavirus put the world on edge, where people were pulling together, concerned for each other and serving each other. Crime was down; and, in spite of a 20% unemployment guestimate, there was optimism as the Stock Market was rebounding.
And, now; just a few months later, there is more unrest in the world, domestic violence, looting, vandalism, threats and even destruction to life and property.
What “lit the fuse?” The death of George Floyd; a policeman overstepping a boundary of restraining someone and causing his death….one policeman. We don't know all the reasons, but the ensuing anger, rage, and violence is now widespread. With some, it began as peaceful protests. Some took advantage of the unrest and protests, and fueled a delicate situation and unleashed anger that resulted in violence.
I believe that people were already on edge due to the Coronavirus and the accompanying fear and uncertainty. The death of George Floyd removed the cork from the bottle, and exploded into not just peaceful protests, but violence, fueling further the fear and anger. This includes some who have taken advantage by looting....stealing, which has nothing to do with a wrongful death, but greed. Randomly destroying property has affected people, lives and businesses. Fear, which does not begin with or lead to a "fear of God" (Ps. 111:10; Prov. 1:7; 9:10, Ps. 19:9) does not lead to the wisdom or awe that would allow God's Holy Spirit to move in helpful ways to rebuilding communities, following His will in constructive ways. The resultant anger, which does not work the righteousness of God (James 1:20), but rather is destructive and results in more brokenness, is “human anger” apart from God's Holy Spirit of wisdom, discernment, compassion, and true justice.
Our country has so many blessings; so many people who truly care and are concerned and serving generously, selflessly. There are "public servants" in the ranks of the First Responders and Health Care Workers who are risking their lives on a daily basis for our sake. And, at the same time....we’ve got rampant fear, uncontrolled anger, greed that resorts to destruction of property and businesses, looting, in the name of "protest." Peaceful protests, however, are helpful; as modeled by Martin Luther King, Jr. and his followers.
We can make a difference! We may or may not be involved in the protests, but we can PRAY. We may not be able to control others, but we can bear the Fruit of the Spirit which includes Love, Peace and Patience, as well as Self Control. We can model the handling of our own fear and anger for those around us, as well as our family and our community by seeking God's will and way through His Word, and allowing the Holy Spirit to direct and empower us to live according to His will beyond our ability.
I invite you to be a Prayer Warrior for the sake of our community and country. I invite you to pray and open your mind, heart, and life to the work of the Holy Spirit. I invite you to open your Bible and open your heart to the Lord so that you might learn of His ways, especially today, in dealing with fear and anger.
Let us be "salt" and "light" in a world that desperately needs to be preserved, to be "flavored" with His grace, and to come out of the darkness into His Light.
May our Lord bless us, keep us, and use us as His Church at St. Luke's.
With love, in Christ,