Just Like Jesus / 21 Days of Justice Week 1 (Value & Dignity): WEDNESDAY
With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Invocation: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Word: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. (Rom. 3:23-25)
Below is an excerpt taken from the statement Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, President of the LCMS, wrote following the killing of George Floyd.
God’s Word rejects racism. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “No one is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). All are equally created by God. All are equally accountable to God. The sins of all are equally atoned for by Christ. All are equally precious to God. Racial animosity is the result of sin and is sin in itself. Racism is not acceptable in the church. Jesus Himself bids us love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and did so precisely while rejecting racial preference (cf. Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25–37).
Unity in the church according to the Augsburg Confession is defined by Article VII: “For it is sufficient for the true unity of the Christian church that the Gospel be preached … and that the sacraments be administered in accordance with the divine Word.” Christ and His gifts bring unity and equity in the church. Racial discrimination in or by the church is sin. Racial conflict in our nation calls every Christian to introspection. “It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “Righteous indignation” without self-reflection and repentance is meaningless, or worse, hypocrisy. (https://blogs.lcms.org/2020/statement-on-the-death-of-george-floyd-and-the-ensuing-riots/)
The President of the LCMS reminds us that “All are equally precious to God. Racial animosity is the result of sin and is sin in itself.” Contemplate how racism takes away value and dignity. How might Christians use introspection, as recommended above, to combat racism? How might self-reflection and repentance be one way to restore value and dignity from those it was taken from?
Prayer: Lord, sin is difficult to face, especially the sin of racism. But you have already paid for it. Grant us repentant hearts. Spy out the sins in our lives, “what we have done and what we have left undone.” Cover us in the mercy of Jesus. Amen.