As ambassadors of reconciliation and representatives of the Kingdom of God, we fundamentally oppose the epidemic of unarmed black men being killed by police officers. We mourn with the families and communities who have lost loved ones; we weep, grieve, and lament alongside of them. Additionally, we acknowledge that there have been a number of other cases within many of our communities where lives have been taken in similar fashion, only to be overlooked by the media and our nation. These losses are just as tragic.
We are committed to praying for and working towards peace in every community. We make every effort to partner with God’s ongoing work of restoration in the world by diligently striving to serve as co-laborers with Christ. Our greatest desire is that God’s will be done and that His Kingdom comes, on earth as it is in heaven.
- We pray for our nation’s policemen, recognizing that they have an incredibly difficult job to do.
- We pray for community leaders to emerge during this critical time, who have the capacity to help our nation process the anguish, anger and indignation that we are experiencing.
- We pray for the Spirit’s guidance as we slowly but surely seek to mend the wounds that these tragedies have exposed within our local communities.
We also want to proclaim that we believe that black lives matter, both to us and to God. For us, this is a theological statement rooted in the Imago Dei, one that declares that all people are divinely endowed as image bearers of the Creator.
Over the course of our nation’s history, we have deemed black life as criminal, inferior, and subhuman—even going as far as legally constituting black people as property instead of humans. We believe that in stating black lives matter, we declare that the lives of those who have been rendered “the least of these” matter.
Consequently, the proclamation “black lives matter” affirms the sanctity of life and that all lives matter. Regardless of how you assess these situations politically and legislatively, as Christians, we want to look at the deeper issue, which is the loss of lives. These are sons, fathers, brothers, uncles, and cousins. They are vital parts of communities, individuals who are precious in the sight of God.
When many feel that justice has been deferred during this season of Advent, we are reminded that we are still awaiting the return of the only true, right, and righteous judge. While we confront injustice and press forward toward righteousness in the present––in the here and now––we ultimately know that justice will only be partially realized until its fullest manifestation dawns with our Lord’s return. How we wait, long for, and anticipate that day as the Body of Christ.
While we persevere and remain faithful to God’s call on our lives, bearing our crosses daily, we press on knowing that our work on behalf of the Kingdom is not in vain. Allowing Scripture to inform our practice and the Spirit to guide our steps, we not only turn to the Lord in prayer but couple our prayers with a fast. This is indeed a time of desperation for our nation, so we are asking our members to strongly consider partaking in a fast. Fasting is a confession of faith, one that says we believe in the Lord’s power and sovereignty beyond what we can see and understand. It is a confession that we recognize we cannot overcome the evil or dangers which confront us in our own power. In fasting, we take a posture of submission before the Lord, one that declares where our true faith and allegiance lies.
We invite you to join us as we fast throughout this Advent season, on behalf of our communities, our country and our commitment to see the gospel transform the deepest of injustices.
Jesus, may your Kingdom come, may your will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven.