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    Let Justice Roll like Water!   “Thus says the Lord God:  Enough! Put away violence and oppression, [ ... ]

    Let Justice Roll like Water!
    “Thus says the Lord God:  Enough! Put away violence and oppression, and do what is just and right.” Ezekiel 45:9a
    The killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis last Monday, May 25th, sparked immediate condemnation of police brutality and the abuse of authority across our nation.  Unfortunately, this deplorable event happened just a few months after the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, who was chased down while jogging on February 23rd and killed by a retired police officer and his son in Brunswick, GA, and the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician, by Louisville Metro police on March 13th, when they burst into her apartment with a “no-knock warrant.”  Rightfully, investigations are being done in each of these situations and already many of the officers are being called to accountability.
    However, the growing frustration and cumulative outrage at these and other such acts of discrimination have fueled large marches of protest throughout the cities of our nation including St. Petersburg and Tampa. While most of the demonstrations begin peacefully, they all too often escalate into violent confrontations.
    As Christians, we abhor the violence! We abhor the violence of police officers against people of color, especially young black men. We abhor the violence of protesters against those trying to re-establish order and protect businesses and communities against vandalism, burglary, and rioting. We pray God to help us “put away violence and oppression and do what is just and right.” We pray for peace.
    In Scriptures, God’s call for justice cannot be separated from God’s call for love of neighbor. The walls that divide us must be overcome.  With the Prophet Amos, we cry out to God: “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”  
    We grieve with the families and friends of all whose loved ones have been and continue to be victims of injustices and racist violence. We pray for our law enforcement officers seeking to do what is just and right, who are unfairly being branded along with the corrupt and racist minority of police officers. We ask God to restore calm and peace and understanding within our communities.
    On Pentecost, we prayed that God would stir up the Holy Spirit within us.  May we also now pray that this same Spirit give us wisdom and courage to listen for God’s truth and speak God’s word of love in this situation. Indeed, may the Spirit lead us to do justice, love with kindness, and walk humbly with our Lord.

    In Christ and His Love,

    Pastor Ed Benoway, Interim
    Lutheran Church of the Cross
    LCC Day School

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