Thriving Devotional - June 2, 2020

To any regular readers (which is a little presumptuous) – sorry for the gap in blog posts over the last couple of weeks. I’ve had a little blog fatigue. Not that people are on the edge of their seats to hear my latest thoughts, but I want to keep up the discipline of writing…but obviously not on a daily basis. My hope is to write a few times a week, and that you might be encouraged in the process.

A while back, my daughter asked me, “Dad, what would be on the news if the coronavirus wasn’t happening?” Well, now we know. Horrifying images of a policeman kneeling on a man’s neck as if he were a hunter on safari. Lawful and necessary protests turning into riots and senseless looting. Violence oozing from our society, from top to bottom. Between the Coronavirus and now this, the curtain is being pulled back on our sickness of soul.

Yesterday I saw a post that read, “Congratulations to the astronauts who left earth today. Good choice.” That captured it for me.

Social media dynamics aside, let me state clearly: racism is wrong, sinful, evil. God shows no partiality. Racism, and other systemic evils, is also thoroughly woven into our society in a way that can’t be solved with simple memes and sound-bytes. That is not at all to excuse it, only to resolve to identify my own complicity in it, and to strive all the harder against it.

At Westminster, it’s a timely and sobering backdrop for our summer exploration of the life of Moses – a history which reminds us that we often have to go back in order to go forward. The Egyptians were afraid of the Israelites, and nothing enflames racism and hatred quite like fear. The Egyptians made their lives bitter, and worked the Israelites ruthlessly. (Exodus 1:14)

This isn’t a flannelgraph Sunday school story; it’s a lesson in human history and fallen human nature. Can you imagine all the nameless Hebrews who died under the knees of their oppressors?

Martin Luther King said that protest is a form of language by those who feel their voice is not being heard. The God of Israel calls us to speak for the voiceless, not least because God’s own people were voiceless in Egypt. To do so is to love our neighbors as ourselves.

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