“See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, . . . ” (Isaiah 60:2a)
As I write this I am beyond grief after hearing that another African American male was shot and killed after a SWAT team entered a downtown apartment under a no-knock warrant in Minneapolis. My first reaction was didn’t the police learn from the death of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in a botched raid at her home in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2020, leading to calls for an end to no-knock warrants nationwide. As a mother of two African American males, one who past away from a fatal overdose of fentanyl, my heart grieves with this young man’s family at the lost of their dear son. I recall saying to the Lord when my son past, ”Lord, I wasn’t there when he took his last breath. The Lord said to me, ” I was there when he took his last breath and I carried his spirit home.” Although I was grieving it gave me great comfort knowing he is at home with the Lord.
Apostle Paul spoke in 2 Timothy that in the last days or ‘church age’ difficult times would come on account of persecution from without, still more on account of corruptions within. People are unholy and without the fear of God, because they are unthankful for the mercies of God. Times are perilous also, when parents are without natural affection toward their children. And when people have no rule over their own spirits, but despise that which is good and to be honored. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 Amplified version says, “But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them. For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate morally weak and spiritually-dwarfed women weighed down by [the burden of their] sins, easily swayed by various impulses, always learning and listening to anybody who will teach them, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” After noting the characteristics of evil people, Timothy is told to avoid such people (2 Tim. 3:2–5). Those who act like this are deceived (2 Tim. 3:6–7).
The community endures great suffering as injustice visits the innocent. The cost of human sinfulness and systemic injustice are evident as the entire community bears the burden.Soon-Chan Rah, Prophetic Lament, A Call for Justice in Troubled Times
These are difficult times indeed with ongoing racial tensions, another police shooting of a Black men, political upheaval and American democracy in jeopardy, the January 6, 2021 insurrection in which a group of people stormed the U. S. Capitol, Covid-19 pandemic that has taken the lives of 903, 038 in the U. S., and within the last 30 days 1 and 5.76M worldwide 2. Many Americans are facing economic challenges – food, housing and employment hardships. School shootings that have left students, educators, parents, and communities terrified. According to Education Week there have been 7 school shootings this year3.
Disunity over the necessity of wearing face masks or getting the vaccine to help curtail the loss of life contributed to the vaccine. Infighting in school districts over whether children should be required to wear face masks in school. Congressional leaders … The Republican National Conviction (RNC) declared that the efforts to investigate the January 6 2021 insurrection amounted to the persecution of individuals engaging in “legitimate political discourse after voting to censure two of their party members for participating in the investigation. On yesterday a white male congressional leader told a black female leader to kiss his a** because she asked him to put on a mask. This is just a sampling of the chaos that is taking place in America. Who would have thought that in the 21st century state government leaders would be enacting laws to remove books from school libraries or laws stop people from feeling uncomfortable about race relations and our national history.
Lament over injustice perpetrated on innocent victims reminds us that those most vulnerable—children—are often the first casualties of natural disaster, war or famine. Injustice does not discriminate nor does it offer solace to the innocent.Soon-Chan Rah, Prophetic Lament, A Call for Justice in Troubled Times
During these times we must be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Sadly, the church has lost it’s ability to lament. Somehow we have lost our historical and spiritual heritage to corporately lament. Instead we bite and devour one another [in bickering and strife], watch out that you [along with your entire fellowship] are not consumed by one another.
May the Lord’s blessing be with you. May He lay a firm foundation of the testimony of Jesus in your life!
Minister A. Francine Green
Notes: All Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.
- COVID Data Tracker. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailycases, accessed 2/9/2022
- https://www.google.com/search?q=covid-19+deaths+worldwide&rlz=1C1JZAP_enUS959US959&oq=covid-19+deatha+&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0i13l2j0i13i457j0i13l6.17655j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8, accessed 2/9/2022
- Education Week’s 2022 School Shooting Tracker (2022). School Shootings This Year: How Many and Where. https://www.edweek.org/leadership/school-shootings-this-year-how-many-and-where/2022/01, accessed 2/9/2022