Midweek Message

Easter Season – Tuesday, April 21

Jim Hopkins

April 20, 2020

Loving God,

As we pray, our thoughts are drawn to Jesus’ words to the religious leaders of his day, “Woe to you for you tithe mint, dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of law: justice and mercy and faith.”

Its not that washing our hands, staying six feet apart and wearing masks while in public are unimportant, for these practices have been proven to save lives. Its that we tend to focus on them without connecting them to other weighty matters. Indeed, we have used them as an excuse for forgetting about the weighty matter of justice.

Thus, we pray for justice in the realms of medical care and medical insurance. May all receive what they need to be well and to stay well.

As we pray for justice we acknowledge that in these United States we cannot pray for, long for or work for justice of any kind with out taking into account matters of race and the cruel realities of societal racism. The virus is no respecter of persons, but we white people are. Thus, we must confess that we have blamed the pandemic on people of Asian descent while remaining unmoved as it disproportionately affects our black and brown sisters and brothers.

Forgive us for putting energy into denying these realties. Forgive us for weaving self-serving narratives about “getting what we deserve” as we observe the suffering of others from safe distances.

Forgive us for arming ourselves with guns and banners and flags and threatening to shut the already fragile and over-burdened system down if we, the “exceptional” ones, don’t get exactly what we want when we want it.

Justice. A weighty matter. Help us to pursue it even when a deadly virus is afoot and even when it is more appealing to think about something that makes us feel better about ourselves.

It is in the name of the one who embodied justice that we pray. Amen.

Please join us this evening for No Soup, But Study at 6:30 and the LABC Church Council meeting at 7:30.

Thank you to Alodia Corpuz, Karen Hopkins, Mary Sue Meads and Cynthia Taylor (there may be other mask makers I am unaware of) for making protective masks to be worn while in public. If you need one please let me know.