Today, as I sit down to write the article for this week, I have received calls, text messages, and emails regarding the brutal beating that led to the death of Tyre Nichols. And I cannot catch my breath between one killing and the next. We cannot even begin to mourn one senseless murder before the next and the next. God, in your mercy, Hear our prayers and tend to our broken hearts. In partnership with the Elected Officers of the United Church of Christ and Conference Minister of Missouri Mid-South Conference UCC we share this Prayer .
In honor of Black History month, and in celebration that two black quarterbacks will be featured for the first time in Super Bowl history, we congratulate Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. Each will try to out-play and out-throw one another for that coveted super bowl ring. Although the win is the most hopeful outcome for each quarterback, it is my hope and prayer that they celebrate one another for making history on the most prominent stage in football.
However, this Black History moment of greatness is lost because the world has witnessed and is still crying and mourning for the lives lost over the past 31 days due to horrific acts of gun violence and police brutality.
It’s a new day, it’s a new season, it’s a new year and we end the first month of the new year with eleven months of uncertainty and wonder to go. So far in this New Year we’ve had storms, snow, rain, floods, uprooted trees and so much more. COVID remains present as well as a strong flu virus, RSV and deaths in our congregations and families. We cannot get through life without losing something or someone important to us. Some of us find comfort expressing grief openly. Others cry alone. Either way, if we dare to open our hearts to love, there is no avoiding loss and sadness. James Lively says it this way, “Jesus promises that comfort is coming and that no loss is overlooked. People of God, know that God sees you. God cares for you. And God acts to bear the burden with you in unconditional love.”
The Gospel of Matthew 5:1-12, known as the Beatitudes, helps us center ourselves in waiting and praying in faith during this time and season of change and discernment. We wait to see how God will show up in the world, and in our lives and the Church today.
We are in a season of wait and see, trusting God, holding on to our faith with both hands, remembering that the very one who made the promises in today’s scriptures, also lived it, bearing loss all the way to the cross for you and me. God’s compassion gives us hope that we are not forgotten in our grief, trials, testing, and waiting.
God promises fulfillment to those who have been waiting for long time for the world to be as God intends. The way the world is now will not last forever. Troubles don’t last forever. All God’s children will know their worth and will treat each other fairly. Those who hunger will be fed. Justice will roll down like water. Peace that surpasses all understanding will come… Just wait and see with deep faith. And during that time don’t forget to do the Hokey Pokey and put your whole self in, with yourself, God, your family and church! Have a closer walk with Jesus, with rays of hope.
Our continued prayers to the families and communities of those mourning the murders of their beloved ones. God in your mercy, Hear our prayers. In Jesus name we pray. Amen