Wednesday Weekly – June 2, 2020

Wednesday Weekly Devotional

By Pastor Sarah Winter

As I sit to write the devotional for this week there are so many feelings on my heart, as I’m sure there are on yours.  The events of the past week are in part the result the cumulative impacts of years and years of frustration and silenced voices.

It is important to lament with our black and brown brothers and sisters, but it is also imperative that we name the issue.  That we not just talk about it, but we name it, sit with it and feel it.  This may be uncomfortable but through discomfort comes growth and from growth comes changes in mindsets and behaviors.

Systemic Injustice and Racism.

As we look to Jesus for guidance, we must remember that our strength and our redeemer was also a disruptor in his time. Jesus, the son of God, was an outcast.  He walked among those at the fringes of society, whom others looked down upon while stripping them of their humanity.  But Jesus did not turn away – instead he listened.  He asked questions, engaged in story and authentically connected with those around him, leading all to a deeper understanding of what it means to “in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3b-4)

We are invited to have this same mindset as Christ, however we must be aware that this comes with a cost.  Jesus tells us in Luke 14:27 & 33 “Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple… those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciple.”

We must give up the silence of our comfort zone and step into Jesus’ invitation to be the voice of change.  We must re-train ourselves and our children to listen better, learn better and be better.  

An article in the Covenant Companion written by President Wenrich, Paul Robinson (Executive Director of Love Mercy, Do Justice) and Dominique Gillard (Director of Racial Righteousness and Reconciliation) discussed our current “Racial Pandemic”.  Here is an excerpt of their words:

“Infectious diseases are resistant to treatment, and we must realize that the only cure for this pandemic is the gospel! We must reexamine our discipleship paradigms and recommit ourselves to racial righteousness. So again, less than two weeks after bemoaning Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, we petition yet again asking the Spirit of God to renew our minds. We join the psalmist in crying out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.”

As the Evangelical Covenant Church, we grieve the death of George Floyd. We lament that the pandemic of systemic racism has not only been allowed to grow in our nation but has also established a foothold in too many churches, fomented by some and ignored by others. The ECC will not ignore the sin of racism, a virus that has plagued our world far too long. We call on all Covenanters to “grieve with those who are grieving.” We grieve not only the death of George Floyd but a system that affords some the luxury of being treated with dignity when the law is broken, while others go to the morgue. In the middle of this brokenness, and our lament, we continue to stand firm in our faith, knowing that amid what feels like despair, we are not without hope because Jesus is Immanuel! Our Lord and Savior has inaugurated the kingdom—disarming the powers and authorities—and while the kingdom has not fully manifested, we persevere in faith, knowing that it will!”

May we all stand together in the face of Systemic Racism and Injustice, knowing that together as the Church our strength is immeasurable.