In regards to escalating racial tension, have you heard the term “the Ferguson effect”? Well, how about “the Charleston Solution”? In the face of racial fury, murder, mayhem and gut-wrenching fault finding, there is only one answer friends…the love of JESUS.
It’s time Christ’s church stands up and displays the precious unity we enjoy because of HIS work on the cross. Because HIS blood was spilled and HIS life sacrificed we can have victory over the forces trying to tear our nation apart. I would never have guessed after our nation elected it’s first black president - with much celebration and fanfare - that racial tension and distrust would rise to such a peak as we’ve witnessed in the past years.
And I’m reminded of what the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesian church:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
Truly there are unseen forces shaking our land, attempting to destroy us from within. Spiritual forces influence people to think evil of each other, and then act on those thoughts, pointing fingers instead of offering a helping hand. Our selfish, stubborn hearts are prone to seek one-sided justice instead of admitting our own need for mercy.
Without sincere faith in the one true God, mankind is easily deceived and enticed by wrong motivations, fears and desires. So what is our response as the people of God? Prayer, fasting and unity- because only the love of Jesus can mend our land.
Last Sunday I was privileged to attend two very different worship services, each one encouraging my heart. At the first I was a guest, totally new to the congregation, yet sincerely welcomed. The pastor’s heart was broken over the events of last week in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas. Addressing a multi-racial audience, he passionately called us to embrace each other, have meals together and listen to each other’s stories. I was blessed to be among the crowd that went forward, hugging my sisters and brothers in Christ, treasuring the bond we share that transcends the colors of our skin!
In the second service at my church home, I was reminded of the transformative effect of a relationship with Jesus Christ. Pastor’s message was on the necessity to be “born again,” because God is the only One who can change us. A true encounter with our Living Lord, changes our hearts, our thinking and our behavior! Receiving the gift of salvation through repentance and faith, being born of God’s Spirit, breaks down walls of isolation and prejudice.
Oh how we need the love of Jesus today!
How we need to forgive others as the saints from the Emmanuel AME Church of Charleston, South Carolina, modeled for us! It is possible church. We can stop blaming people and institutions, and stand together against the forces that are trying to separate us.
Make every effort to strengthen the bond of peace between you and other Christians, showing the nation the love of Jesus. Pray and fast, asking God to move in and through His church. This is God’s call to us right now!