I am outraged by another violent death of a black teenager in our city. On Tuesday, one of my wife’s students was fatally shot. Sixteen-year-old Chelsea Harris was simply getting out of a car with her boyfriend.
This black teenager won’t get the press of Michael Brown, but the outrage should be just as furious. With 2014 drawing to a close, there have been about 150 murders in St. Louis, up 35% from last year. The victims are disproportionately young and black. The issues in our city are complex - the weaving of societal systems and cultural cycles that perpetuate poverty, violence, and dysfunction.
Chelsea is one of five students that my wife has seen die a violent death. As a family and a school grieves a child's death, I am reminded that brutal violence against children was part of Christ's birth narrative (Matt. 2:16-18). I am also reminded that
God overwhelmingly favors the marginalized (Luke 2:46-55; 4:16-21; 6:20-26) - the poor, those who mourn, the lowly.
We pray mercy for those stuck in disruptive neighborhoods, families, and economic conditions.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.