I invite you to continue praying with me as we move forward together, making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
As the events in Charlottesville, Virginia unfolded yesterday my heart grew heavy. Heavier with every video I saw, heavier with every article I read, heavier with every reaction to which I listened.
I thought about them from my perspective as a father, husband, pastor, and child of God. As I listened and prayed several things came to mind,
- 1 John 2:9 – the one who claims to be in the light, while hating a brother or sister is in the darkness even now
- Galatians 3:28 – There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
- Luke 6:27 – But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
- John 13:35 – By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
And as I thought about these verses, I was also reminded of the vows we take as United Methodists whenever we are baptized and join the church. The very first question we ask,
- Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
My friends, the events of yesterday and the values that were espoused are not part of the life we are called to live as Christians and United Methodists. So today I would like us to take another moment to pray for those people of Charlottesville, for those families that have been impacted, and for those in leadership – in all capacities – as they seek to care and help those involved and around the globe.
As Christians and as United Methodists, we are called to be the harbingers of hope, those bearers of the light, those dwellers of God’s Kingdom, showing people that the love of God is always greater than hate, evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
Let us pray –
Gracious Father, we know that today your heart breaks. We know that yesterday was not part of your plan for this world and that events that took place were not part of your will. So today, we pray for your grace, we pray for that prevenient grace of your Spirit to continue to work in the hearts and lives of all people, that eyes would be opened and hearts softened. Allow the words of your Son be made known throughout the land, that love is our guiding premise, that love is our strongest foundation, that your love is what will overcome all things. We pray for those whose life was lost, for those who families are now forever changed, and for those that are struggling with what means to love one another, as you have first loved us. We ask that you continue to walk with us, your children, show us the way and give us the courage to speak into the darkness as we seek to be the bearers of your light. We thank you that these events, and events like these, do not go unnoticed by you, but that you are already at work in them. Continue to bring healing, help us work with you to bring unity, help all of us the world over to speak your love. It is in your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.