May 2022 thoughts

20 05 2022

We live in a city with gun violence and tragic loss of life. I have heard the gunshots and seen the bloodshed, but I do not worry about someone coming to kill me because of the color of my skin. I am beyond grieved and angered by any racially motivated killing. I condemn it. My family and I love, serve, and pray for our neighbors where we are minorities as white people. We are trying to do anything we can to be a comfort and strength to our friends and neighbors who may feel pain and trauma at the news of racially motivated killing.
Please allow me to share some thoughts.

God hears the cry of each person who is murdered, and feels our pain, it angers him, and God commands it to stop, Genesis 4:10, Exodus 20:13. God says that “murder pollutes the land” and must be punished, Numbers 35:33. There is hope for someone who has committed murder to be completely changed for the good by Jesus, Acts 9:1-31.

A life of goodness, peace, and joy is what we should be pursuing, helping as many as possible to enjoy the same, Romans 14:17, Matthew 6:33.
God makes beautiful people who are better together.
We value the racial and socioeconomic diversity of Baltimore city and have a particular heart for a local church culture of celebrated equality and mutual respect.

We are following the example of the Christian church in Antioch which became a cohesive healthy spiritual family of Jesus followers, as seen in Acts 11:19-30. They did not allow unique characteristics of race, ethnicity, culture, economy, or education to keep them from being a unified group. They took action to help others across such lines. We come together and build relationships with each other as a church family where each person has value, identity, and purpose, as seen in 1 Timothy 3:15, 5:1-2, and 1 Corinthians 12:16-17. The purpose of God includes people of every culture and ethnicity, Revelation 7:9.

Let’s listen to each other with an intent to understand. This is a way to show love. Let’s show such loving respect to each other with particular sensitivity to anyone who may be feeling such pain. Please be careful to avoid making assumptions and saying something careless. Check-in with your friends and neighbors, and be alright if they don’t feel like talking. Be a good friend. Be a good neighbor. Treat everyone in the way you want to be treated. Love gives.