“You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
Tuesday, First Week of Pentecost
Almighty God, graciously raise up leaders in all the nations, we pray, so that human society may be ordered according to Your will, with justice and compassion for all citizens and peace across international borders and among people of all races. Protect and guide all who defend freedom, carry out justice, and promote the common good. Break and hinder every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature so that we may hallow Your name and let Your kingdom come. In the name of Jesus our Righteousness. Amen
We continue to watch the news as peaceful protests happen in dozens of cities across the United States, in response to the death of George Floyd due to the overuse of force by several Minneapolis police officers. In addition, we are seeing organized and lawless people using these protests as opportunities to destabilize communities. Attacks and riots are causing damage to businesses, property, and people for no good reason. The message of justice and overcoming racism is being squelched by those who are doing lawless acts.
Today we need to pray that God would send his mighty angels to stem the violence of those who bring chaos, and that He would pour out his Holy Spirit on those who seek him. God’s Holy Spirit brings gifts that are the antidotes to both the violence we see in the streets and the prejudices that rule sinful human hearts. Instead of hatred, the Holy Spirit gives love. Instead of unrest, peace. Instead of intolerance, patience. Instead of retaliation, kindness. Instead of division, goodness. Instead of recklessness, faithfulness. Instead of violence, gentleness. And instead of uncontrolled rage, self-control.
As many wise people in the past have noted, the appropriate answer to violence is not more violence, though true justice does wield a powerful sword so that innocent lives may be protected from those who would cause destruction.
Jesus knows the magnitude of violence and injustice that humans are capable of—after all, he suffered the most horrific injustice of all at the hands of his religious leaders and government officials. His response? He prayed for God to forgive them for they knew not what they were doing.
Jesus also carries out the truest Justice and protects and preserves those who trust in Him. He has set a day when all who carry out violence will be destroyed, and he continues to hinder and break every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and the sinful nature.
May God preserve us all from prejudice and from violence of all kinds.
In the hands of God,
Pastor Langdon Reinke
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