I have written earlier about how I am thankful to be in the Psalms and focusing on 100 days of prayer. Like many, I have been lamenting the losses many are experiencing due to COVID-19 and the awakening to the racial injustice that so many have suffered for so long. There is reason to lament, and that is a good place to start. But more is needed.
There is so much understandable frustration and pain, and our tendency is to react by either pushing our pain down in denial or pushing it out in anger, hostility, even violence. While these human reactions may be understandable, they are not often helpful. When it comes to racism, white people like myself have dismissed or denied systemic racism for too long.
Reading Psalm 137 is alarming. This is how it ends:
Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us.
Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks. (v. 8 -9, NIV) Who let that into God’s prayer book?
On Friday noon I took part in the Racial Reconciliation prayer meeting on Zoom that many Great Banquet people and others are participating in. That evening I attended the Juneteenth Rally for Remembrance at First Baptist Church. Those present at both of these events were reminded of the historical significance of this day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
A few weeks ago I came out of a kind of fog from all the adapting to online ministry, and I decided to read some familiar books including To Kill a Mockingbird. I started the book before the killing of George Floyd, and I finished it the weekend the protests began. Interesting timing.
I have enjoyed reflecting on and praying the psalms the past few weeks and look forward to doing so throughout the summer. The truth is, I need the psalms to give me words to pray. This has been quite a year with the announcement of Pete’s retirement, Pastor Stan Ott’s and Doug LeMaster’s retirements, Pastor David Jordan-Haas’s death almost a year ago, remodeling the building, and redesigning our Sunday morning worship and learning communities. That was a lot…