George Floyd died on May 25th, 2020 and it sparked Black Lives Matter protests around the country, and they continue nine weeks later. The news media is currently focusing on the protests in Portland. As you contemplate the motivation of the protests it’s important to separate the difference between peaceful protesters and people with aggressive behaviors, committing vandalism, and starting fires. They are two different groups of people, even if there is some crossover.
Our country needs to work for reconciliation through Christ who strengthens us. I read an article with an author who said how can we be reconciled when we’ve never had an equitable relationship in the first place. I believe we need to be reconciled in Christ in order to be reconciled as a nation. We need to see each other as members of the Holy family of God, members of the body of Christ. The ability to view ourselves and our neighbor through this lens will enable us to achieve reconciliation among the races.
Christ’s reconciliation will enable us to ask God for forgiveness of our mistakes, misdeeds, and acknowledge the position of white superiority that is prevalent in our nation. Seeking forgiveness will enable us to receive the gift of grace. When we receive this gift, we can in turn offer it to others.
Good Morning America aired a story about Maya Moore, and Jonathan Irons. Maya Moore was a college basketball who played on national championship teams, in Connecticut; she won Women’s National Basketball Association titles, while playing on the Minnesota Lynx; and she won Olympic Gold medals.
At the height of her career she set aside her career to fight for social justice. She said no one likes to watch a fixed game. She just wants us to have a fair criminal justice system. Everything is based on relationships. Get to know someone who isn’t from the same background as you. That relationship will lead you to new understandings.
Maya and her family became aware of a man named Jonathan Irons through a Prison Ministry. They learned his story and helped him prove that he had been wrongly incarcerated for 23 years. Jonathan was 16 years old when he was convinced and sentenced to 50 years in prison for assault and burglary. He was identified by the victim of the crime but there was no corroborating evidence.
Jonathan Irons released from prison after spending two decades behind bars. He is focusing on family and faith. During his interview he sang: “Praise the Lord, Hallelujah, I’m Free!”
Jonathan extended grace to the man who misidentified him and holds no hard feelings.
This is a story of reconciliation and grace. “Hallelujah!” Amen.
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