We live in a violent world. Week after week we receive news of senseless, violent acts of hatred and terrorism in our nation and around the world – from Orlando, to Turkey, to Louisiana, to Minneapolis and most recently in Dallas, Texas. On the evening of July 8, a peaceful protest erupted in gunfire which killed five and wounded seven public servants, police officers who were on duty working to keep the crowds safe. Two civilians were also wounded in this senseless act. Our hearts mourn and grieve from coast to coast as we reflect on the families torn apart and the brave lives ended too soon.
As a church, the body of Jesus Christ, we are called to prayer. We pray God will comfort those who are grieving, heal those who are wounded, and provide hope in the midst of turmoil and brokenness.
Jesus Christ knew violence. Recall that the cross was initially an instrument of violence, suffering, execution and torture. Because of the love of God and the suffering, death, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ the symbol of the cross was transformed into an image of love, grace, hope and new life.
Christians bring the message of the cross to the world – the message that God is love. There is hope for the brokenness and healing for the pain that divides us. We lift high the cross – a symbol of love and reconciliation in a world torn by hate.
Reconciliation begins with each of us. We are invited to participate in the work that God is already doing – comfort those who are grieving, pray for their families, work in our own community for reconciliation, strive for peace, combat evil and stand firm for justice. We pray for an end to prejudice, violence, hatred, injustice and suffering in all the ways they present themselves. We proclaim the love of God for our world through Jesus Christ. Love is stronger than hate, good is stronger than evil, life is stronger than death.
-Dr. Jan Davis
Central’s Senior Pastor