Good afternoon brothers and sisters,
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him.
And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying,
“This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Lk. 15: 1-2)
Look through the New Testament. Many are the times
Jesus stood with the common Jewish people – the forgotten, rejected, unclean outsiders
meanwhile the Jewish leadership looked on in judgement.
Jesus always…always stood with the common people, the poor, the unclean, the ones who were not accepted.
It is likely the Palm Sunday processional was a kind of protest march.
Earlier this week a member of our church asked my why there has not been mention of joining a protest gathering here in Pittsburgh. The person pointed to other nearby Presbyterian churches that are planning to attend one. The staff and some of the elders at Beulah Presbyterian did go to a prayerful and peaceful protest held front of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church a couple of weeks ago. I am embarrassed to admit I have never mentioned it. I would have gone myself, but being 67 with a tendency to develop deep chest colds decided that I would not march. Then I simply put it aside. How self-centered of me. I apologize.
On the other hand I hear others ask (voices tinged with anger and dismay) “Why all the protests? Why won’t people just go home? They made their point!” Clearly, Black Lives Matter protesters have been in the street many times before, gone home, and discovered that their voices were not heard.
Why are they out there? Consider this very uncomfortable reality. Five years ago a white supremacist walked into an African American church, entered into a room where primarily elderly black men and women were studying the Bible. Dylann Roof brazenly shot nine people to death. After the police apprehended him, they drove a hungry Dylann to a Burger King and bought him a meal. After the police threw George Floyd to the ground on the suspicion of using a counterfeit $20.00 bill – the arresting officer murdered George Floyd in public.
Racial injustice is alive and well in America. That is why people are in the street protesting. WWJD? What would Jesus do?
I know, and uncomfortable question during a very uncomfortable time. Christians can not look the other way.
Have a restful evening – and pray for our country.