Dear Hope Church,
The events in our country over the past two weeks prove once again how devious the spiritual forces of evil are in our nation. We are a country that is privileged and powerful and beautiful in so many ways, and yet also often misguided and filled with envy, greed, and hatred.
On one hand, I’m so thankful that we can approach Holy Week knowing that death and evil have been defeated in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Racism and misogyny will not have the last word. Religious extremism will not have the last word. The last word is the victory of Jesus and our eternal fellowship with God and with a countless multitude from every tribe, nation, and language. We can rejoice with great hope, knowing that our sorrows will cease.
On the other hand, as our sorrows continue on this side of eternity, tears are a gift. Please join me in lamenting especially with and for the Asian American community (who are often forgotten in the fight against racism in America) and the cities of Atlanta and Boulder, as well as others who have felt the effects of these heinous acts committed against image bearers of God. Perhaps pray Asaph’s courageous and faith-filled words in Psalm 82:2-4,8: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah. Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked…. Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!”
I find that it’s often better for me to stop trying to find reasonable explanations for these grievous sins and simply listen to and empathize with my brothers and sisters who are hurting. I commend two articles to you related to the Atlanta tragedy:
- Struggling to Untangle the Atlanta Shooting
- Atlanta Statement from the Asian American Christian Collaborative
- Reflections on the Killings in Atlanta
- Asian American Sisters, God Lifts Your Heads High
And as a way to encourage you in this time, I’d like to invite you to come to the church on Sunday morning at 8:30am. I will open up the upstairs Adult Ed room, which has spaced-out seating, and make it available for those who would like to pray, talk, or simply just be in the presence of someone who is for them. If you aren’t comfortable coming, feel free to send me a message so that I can remember to pray for you.
If you’d like an elder or woman on leadership to reach out to you, please let us know. We don’t have all the answers to these tragedies, but I hope that through our presence, prayer, and tears you will remember the Love that will never let you go.