My heart turns to a call for conversion, healing and change for our nation. Today’s verdict has the potential to be an opportunity that can lead to change. Although many around the globe find today’s guilty verdict for the murder of George Floyd a cause for celebration, I believe we are called to conversion as a nation.
This week I am struck by the scriptures from the Acts of the Apostles chapter 9 as we see the “Murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,”. We find a man named Saul seeking to place followers of the “Way” in chains to be led back to Jerusalem. We know this same Saul stood by and gave his approval of the death of Stephen.
In Acts of the Apostles God acts in justice through the conversion of Saul. His conversion brings about healing, and his being healed of his blindness moves him to real change. The physical blindness of Saul also signifies the blindness of his heart in persecuting the disciples of Jesus.
The Justice seen today is a first step toward a road to conversion, healing and change. The sin and cancer of racism and inequality will change when more hearts and minds are converted to love, and healing can lead us to real change and transformation. The heart and soul of our nation needs healing from racism. When we can come together and recognize that all must be treated justly and regarded with dignity and respect.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
Lord God, your own Son was delivered into the hands of the wicked, yet he prayed for his persecutors and overcame hatred with the blood of the cross. Relieve the suffering of those who suffer from racism, hatred and violence grant us peace of mind and a renewed faith in your protection and care.
Protect us all from the violence of others, keep us safe from the weapons of hate, and restore to us tranquility and peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
How does this process start. So often some might find them asking, how do I change?, how does conversion happen?, what must I do? This weekends reading lead us to the point of beginning of the process from Hatred to real change. Do we know who we are and do we accept who our other human beings are that share this great planet with us. John reminds us when he says
“See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.”
Enter into and accepting our identity, truly knowing where the starting point of who we are actually begins. It begins here, that we are all children of God. Even when others fail to see it the truth does not change. All human beings are made by the creator, even though there are those who are not baptized and don’t know Christ, they are children of God because they are made in the Divine image of God. This is a profound truth, but you know most people don’t know it. Even Christians, they don’t know. Try this sometime ask someone “Who are You?” then wait for their answer. I can tell 99% of people are clueless to their identity as being God’s children.
This is the first step in moving toward conversion is knowing, accepting and owning who we are. When we know who we are in God, it is then that we can turn and look at the other human as being my sister or brother. How often do we hear the anger in a voice, if some one calls another person “hey brother” they yell back I’m not your brother, I don’t know you. This is a travesty the negation of the sisterhood and brotherhood of all humanity is where the bridge is broken to begin conversion and healing. So it is here that we must begin and challenge, remind and call each person to receive, know and believe in who they are.
“Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.”