This week, we are taking a break from our year-long sermon series plan. Typically, I prayerfully choose a text that was included in our previous week's reading assignment. I hope all of you either have or will join us in this Southwest 2020 Bible Reading Project. You can find the schedule on our website, and you can pretty much depend on me preaching each week from some portion of what you read.
But not today. Over the last two weeks, my attention has been pivoted to, and my heart is breaking concerning, what is going on in our country concerning race.
It began (not racism, but the current intensity of focus upon it) in the city of Minneapolis. The world stared in silence as it watched a grueling 9-minute video of a police officer inappropriately and abusively choking the life out of George Floyd. This gut-wrenching sight triggered unspeakable pain that understandably runs very deep among the black community. They watched a white man kill a black man. They watched a white man with power, abuse his power, ignore his training, and neglect his sworn duty, resulting in the death of a black man. Think about that.
The city of Minneapolis is where it started, but the reaction has penetrated every city. The whole nation is so focused on it that even the power of an invasive, society altering, life-taking pandemic seems like minor news. Think about that.
What do Christians do? In this current climate of intensity, but then even when the intensity is over, what are Kingdom-loving, Christ-centered people to do?
Today I want us to pause, take a breath, and consider this question.
Sadly, there is not a Bible verse that we can open up to and find an answer, at least in terms of a detailed list for our specific and current crisis. But I did find one that sounds to me like a direct command from God. One that He wants me to hear and obey from this day forward. He says, "Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." (Jeremiah 29:7)
Yes, Father. Make this our heart for Amarillo, our nation, and this world, within which we live in exile, for a time, as we journey Home. Let us seek other's welfare, because you promise that is where we find our own.