The role of the church is to be a faithful witness to the reality that Jesus Christ is Lord. We are called to proclaim in word and represent in deed that good news to all.
Being invited into the knowledge of the king, we have been given a clear view of His Kingdom through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
And in His Kingdom, justice and righteousness roar like rivers. (Amos 5:24)
The church has always had a responsibility to look at the places in society where injustice and unrighteousness live and to call them what they are, evil. The Bible describes our world as one that is dominated and controlled by structures and systems, and powers bent on destruction. (2 Cor 10:4, Eph 6:12).
These structures and systems and powers run even deeper than our individual, personal sin and become the undergirding of sinful societal patterns.
The murder of George Floyd brings to the foreground once again the violence that is all too often directed at the black community in our nation.
We have heartbreaking video evidence of the kind of injustice our black and brown friends and neighbors have told us about for years. Theirs are stories that have been often dismissed, marginalized, explained away or ignored.
We see the protests that have drawn so many into our streets and how the frustration has at times spilled over into violence and danger. We see the police officers and national guard service members standing in harm’s way to keep peace and how at times violence sadly manifests there as well. We lament the injustices that have occurred to bring about this moment and we lament how the response to injustice can often be more injustice.
We pray for peace and safety in the streets of our country.
We pray for calm and for peacemakers to arise.
We pray for the end of injustice and for the end of violence.
We pray for the end of rioting.
We pray for justice and righteousness to roar like a river.
We confess that, for too long, we have had the chance to be faithful to the call of the church to be a champion of justice, particularly to the most marginalized and oppressed in our communities, and we have not embraced that role as comprehensively as we should have.
Whether it was because we didn’t know what to say or do, or because we were afraid to offend, or because we were distracted, we now, with broken hearts, confess our sin, and repent.
Today, we, the leadership of Redemption Gilbert, commit to do better by the grace of God.
We commit to pray for endurance and empowerment by the Holy Spirit to be part of a long term solution to the sins of systemic racism and indifference in our community.
We commit to pray for our law enforcement officers who are often called to run into the heart of danger for the sake of our safety, and who risk their lives daily to maintain peace and order in our communities.
We desire to be faithful in loving our neighbor and ask God, and you, for forgiveness where we have failed to do so in the past and for the strength to be more faithful to this calling in the future.
All of Life is All for Jesus,
Tim, Tyler, Paul