Bishop Middleton: Prayer for Unity in a Time of Crisis

Bishop Middleton: Prayer for Unity in a Time of Crisis

7/8/2016


My Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.

I am reminded of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. Surely he weeps with us today.

Following the tragic shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, which further undermined any sense of trust in the fairness of treatment of blacks and other persons of color, we are now stunned by the wanton act of ambush in Dallas last night resulting in the deaths of five police officers and wounding of others as well as other officers who have been subsequently shot in other communities since this incident.

We want to believe that we live in a country where there is freedom, where respect for the dignity of all is valued, where each person can realize his or her potential, where we can count on the rule of law. 
 
And yet the issues are overwhelming: a politically deeply divided country, increasing disparity between those with unlimited wealth and children who are starving, a drop in life expectancy in a country with the most advanced medical care available anywhere, those who are risking their lives to keep the peace are themselves victims of violence. We also must acknowledge that we who are a nation of immigrants struggle with pervasive racism which began with the founding of the country and continues today and also with a criminal justice system which incarcerates a higher percentage of people than almost any nation on earth.
 
As Christians, we proclaim the power of God's love in all circumstances, in all times. Truly these heartbreaking tragedies cause us to ask, “What does the Lord require of us?” Can we be those who seek justice, love kindness and desire to walk humbly with God? Can we use this time of crisis to renew our commitment to do everything possible to promote unity and justice in our communities? Can this be a time for those of us in the church to be the catalyst for healing and hope?

I pray that each of us will be guided and empowered to be those who bring the possibility of a new future. I ask each of you to pray for all those who are victims of injustice, for those who are at risk because of the color of their skin, for those brave officers who are willing to put themselves in harm’s way in order to protect others, and for the families and loved ones of all those involved. Lord have mercy.
In Christ’s love,
Jane Allen Middleton