June 1, 2020 - Protesters

When I woke up this morning, my mind was still centered and focused on the "Protesters" who are in the streets in major cities.  Whether we agree or disagree regarding the protesting, I think we would agree that it has rocked the nation. Black males and females have been killed and abused by whites for many years, but the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis simply says, "Enough is enough!" There have been too many unjust killings that have been ignored or overlooked. It is evident that the judicial system is not working. This is truly a sad day in America, for it is evident this Country is divided and in crisis.

No one with good conscious or common sense condones the looting, violence and destruction that is taking place, but what it has done is wake America up. When there have been similar killings in the past, we have passively ignored them to a certain degree. I believe the killing of George Floyd will change the course of history without him ever knowing it. When all of this is over, I believe America will be a stronger, wiser and more unified nation, but it will require all of us doing something positive to make it happen.

I must admit that I am becoming afraid, not so much for self, but for our young males and females that will have to reset this nation. I am afraid for my children and grandchildren that will have to endure the pains brought on by past and present generations.  I am afraid that the protesters have set off another viral wave that will spike the coronavirus cases. I am afraid that the lifting of the stay at home order will cause more pain. I am afraid because we are facing a pandemic that has killed over 100,000 people in America. I am afraid for over 40 million people in the United States being unemployed. I am afraid that the agitators and others who have joined the protesters for the wrong reasons will tarnish the true meaning of a peaceful demonstration. I am afraid that our economy will collapse, because of the absence of true leadership and we will face a recession or depression.

As we have heard so many say, "The overwhelming majority of our law enforcement are good people trying to do the right thing." May this be a wake-up call to all law enforcement agencies that eyes will no longer be closed; thank God for cameras and cell phones. We deeply appreciate the good job that so many of our police do on a daily basis.

We have noticed something very different about the recent protesters, for they are a diverse body of people. This means that not only are Blacks fed up with injustices, but other races also.

During my years of ministry I have always predicted it would take mothers to change the face of this nation. When I heard two dynamic and powerful mayors, Muriel Bowser and Keisha Lance Bottoms, speak about the demonstrations, I realized these are two compassionate mothers pleading their cases for families all over America.

I share with you part of former President Barack Obama's remarks, "It's natural to wish for life "to just get back to normal" as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly "normal"- whether it's while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.  This shouldn't be "normal" in 2020 America. It can't be "normal." If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better."

It grieves my spirit when I think about Ahmaud Arbery who was jogging, minding his own business in Georgia, but gunned down in the streets. It grieves my spirit when I think about Breonna Taylor, a 26 year old African American emergency room technician who was shot eight times by Louisville police. I grieve for the families of so many others who have lost their lives too soon.

The words of Isaiah 40:4, "Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth."

"How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity."  Psalm 133:1

"I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought." 1 Corinthians 1:10            

My brothers and sisters in Christ, take a knee today and pray for peace, unity and justice.

Just a thought, not a sermon!

Robert Earl Slade, Pastor