A Word from Pastor Brad

Dear Faith,

Words are a gift. They help us speak our hearts. If we were to speak now what our hearts feel, what words would we hear? Overwhelmed! Helpless! Angry! Shaken! Heartbroken! Sad! Afraid! I’m sure you could add to the list.

Names are words too, but names point to real people.

George Floyd is not just two words. George Floyd was a living person.

Derek Chauvin is not just two words. Derek Chauvin is a living person.

Donald Trump, Tim Walz, Melvin Carter, Jacob Frey are real people made in the image of the living God.

The cop! That protester! Those looters!—all creations of the God of love.

What does God’s word have to say to all the words on our hearts and minds? Can we, Christ’s Church, bring God’s word to the fore as we think about the tragic death of George Floyd, the violence in our streets, the concern for the mourning of so many in our midst. I invite you to meditate on His word with me now, and let His eternal truth light your path as you speak words in this world.

For all who are mourning, hear the word of the Lord.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

 and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

-Psalm 34:18

I say to God my Rock,

    “Why have you forgotten me?

Why must I go about mourning,

    oppressed by the enemy?”

My bones suffer mortal agony

    as my foes taunt me,

saying to me all day long,

    “Where is your God?”

Why, my soul, are you downcast?

    Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

    for I will yet praise him,

    my Savior and my God.

-Psalm 42:9-11

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30

For all who want justice, hear the word of the Lord.

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. -Isaiah 59:14

“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” -Psalm 12:5

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?Isaiah 58:6

For all who’ve lost patience with the other, hear the word of the Lord.

    …in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. –Genesis 1:27

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. -Matthew 7:12

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. -Galatians 3:28

For all who long for vengeance, hear the word of the Lord.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. -Matthew 5:9

You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…Matthew 5:43-44

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. -Ephesians 2:14, 17

For all who want to scream, hear the word of the Lord.

To answer before listening—that is folly and shame. -Proverbs 18:13

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. -Proverbs 12:18

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. -Colossians 4:6

For all struggling to love…

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. -2 John 1:6

We love because he first loved us. -1 John 4:19

Church, though the darkness surrounds us, God has seen fit to shine brightly through those who call themselves Christ-ones. That’s our name. Our world longs for us to heed His word:

 “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 5:16

In the Living Word,

Pastor Brad