SFPC's Spiritual Response to the situation surrounding George Floyd from Reverend Brian Craker
The above video was shown before our service on 5/31/20, Pentecost Sunday, as the Spiritual Response that we have to the events that transpired both to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and to the protests that resulted because of their deaths. Below is a transcript of the above video.
Due to Coronavirus, we have been recording our worship services mid-week. We recorded our service ahead of the violent protests that have ravaged our major cities and rattled our nerves after the senseless death of George Floyd.
For many of us, it’s not only hard to wrap our minds what happened on Memorial Day night in Minneapolis, but also the reaction that has come of it. How are we as Christians supposed to respond, and more importantly, how can we even find the words to pray through these tragic events.
I believe God’s word speaks eternal, and there is one foundational passage that rises to the surface for me today: Micah 6:8. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
The Lord was speaking to His people then, and speaks to us now. The items listed in this verse are not mutually exclusive, but rather are tied expectantly together. You cannot have mercy without justice, or vice versa, and you cannot have either with humility before the God that has given us life.
Today is Pentecost, the birthday of the church, and the church turned the ancient world upside down in the way it brought people from different races, genders, rich poor & even slaves, into equal relationship, changing their identity from human labels to all having the same identity: child of God.
George Floyd understood that identity as a child of God. Coming from the projects in Houston, after his release from prison, he worked to bring peace to the Third Ward community, even being hands on with outdoor church services and bible studies before his move to Minneapolis. I encourage you to look up the article about his life on ChristianityToday.com, “George Floyd left a Gospel Legacy in Houston.” Floyd knew that no one was perfect, and that included himself, but that in Christ, we find our new identity.
So as we gather for worship this morning, we find ourselves needing to pray for that same unity the early church experienced. To see everyone around us, not through human eyes, but through God’s eyes. As a church, we reject injustice and violence in any form. We pray for those suffering and hurt from this week’s events. We pray for all local, state and national leaders to work quickly & diligently as they seek justice and ensure these situations are brought to an end. And lastly, we pray for the words of Micah 6:8 to be made real in all of our minds and actions. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.