This past Sunday, we were reminded of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Reds, purples, yellows and oranges swirled around our Communion table reminding us of the colours of fire. Pentecost Fire, Holy Spirit and the beginnings of the Christian Church. The disciples had such optimism and hope of community, justice, compassion, peace and the presence of God.
The Church must not be afraid of fire, even when that fire burns controversially as riots and looting. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, that ‘riots are the language of the unheard.’ We should be doing a great deal of listening right now. Perhaps this time, we will not fail to hear what people are saying through their pain. Perhaps this time, we will be able to listen and begin to make the changes that will finally root out the racial injustice that still infects too many areas of society. The Church is not innocent; we have a shameful history even among the good we have done. The time is now!
The death of George Floyd was senseless and brutal. The world should be reacting. Yet violence directed at violence, is nothing more than self-defeating and also harms our neighbours. We must remove racism and hate from our hearts and replace it with a renewed desire for equality, respect and reverence for each and every human-being. Our changed behaviour is the vaccine for racism.
Be part of the ‘heart-fire’ that continues to burn as United Churches of Langley. We have work to do in this community, and we can only do it together. We may not be able to extinguish the fires of injustice burning in Minneapolis, but we have this small corner of the world needing care. Continue to care for one another. Care for God’s Creation. Lean into the heart of Jesus the Christ, whom we meet in our suffering neighbour. Stand beside each other against racism. Speak out. Be present with yourselves and your neighbours and give action to your prayers. We are not alone!
Deep Peace for your day.
In service of the Christ,
the Rev. Hilde J. Seal