June 2, 2020 - Unreal

When I woke up this morning I was hoping that the last several months had been a dream, but I realized it is real. I woke up this morning realizing that our democracy is being threatened and at risk. I hoped it was one of my worst nightmares, but I was mistaken. It seems so unreal knowing that covid-19 is still a threat to public health, yet so many people refuse to wear a mask and practice social distancing. It is unreal to see so many protesters unmasked and so close to each other during the demonstrations, for covid-19 is still alive. It is unreal waking up in the morning and not knowing what the day is going to bring. It was unreal last evening seeing the American Military deployed against its own people. It was unreal seeing peaceful demonstrators tear gassed so that the president could have a photo op in front of a boarded up church while he held up a Bible. It just seems so unreal when those in high positions must see what we see, yet they say and do nothing. It was unreal on yesterday hearing the president refer to the governors as weak and implying that they were jerks if they could not get their cities under control. It was so strange hearing a frustrated and heartbroken mayor of one of our major cities plead with somebody, anybody, maybe even a child of the president to speak to him about his inflammatory remarks that leads to violence. All of this seems so unreal.

It is so unreal that there have been limited words of comfort and healing from our president and members of congress. It is difficult to believe even this morning, June 2, 2020, words from our president that continue to inflame violence. It seems so unreal to see so many of our cities destroyed by looters. It is difficult to understand and watch police in some cities kneel with protesters and in others force is being used against peaceful protesters. Wake up my brothers and sisters, yes America is in crisis and if you are an American you should keep your eyes and ears open. Much of what we are experiencing is not normal or comprehensible. It is even difficult to go through the day carrying out your regular and routine duties because of so many uncertainties. I am baffled by the fact that some of my neighbor's thinking is aligned with the president's thinking. It just seems to be so unreal and unconscionable.    

It is just a down right shame that African Americans still have to experience racism, killings, unemployment, health issues, etc. in 2020.  It feels like we are back in the days of the Civil Rights Movement. The difference is that we lack leadership. I ask myself this morning, "Is there a prophet among us?" If you look at the protesters today, there is a very diverse group of people who are saying we are fed up with injustice.               

When I saw two Atlanta students interviewed on Good Morning America and footage of them being tased and dragged from their car while in a traffic jam, my heart sank to a very low point. It was unimaginable seeing police conduct themselves so unprofessionally. This could have been one of my daughters or your son.  It was unreal. What I do know is that all of this is "for real" and we are a nation that is hurting and need healing.    

As we continue to study Ezekiel in Bible Study, we can repeatedly hear these words, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone from your flesh and give you a tender, responsive heart." Ezekiel 36:26

Church, please let us pray that God will change the hearts of the people, especially our leaders, of this great nation. May we live in peace and harmony with each other as we become one nation under God!       

"Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!" declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people; "you have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord." Jeremiah 23: 1-4   

My brothers and sisters, what we are experiencing is real and we are not delusional. The United States is an amazing country and we must insist on being a nation that is for all people.

Join me this morning is singing one of those hymns we used to sing in Potecasi, North Carolina, "Yes God Is Real!"

Not a sermon, just a thought!  

Robert Earl Slade, Pastor