105 Franklin St, South Hill, Virginia
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Verdict

South Hill United Methodist Church

Verdict

I know there are many emotions around the trial verdict handed down today. I have seen both jubilation and condemnation on-line. No matter what we may feel in our gut, I believe that if we want our society to live by our justice system, then we must let the system work. We can’t have it both ways. Even more importantly, I believe first and foremost (occupational hazard) that we need to seek God’s guidance and strive to live by God’s love. What we want is not necessarily in God’s plan nor is it necessarily even good for us. Too often, what we want is self-centered and unloving. Too often, what we want is divisive and isolationist. Too often, what we want is greedy and fearful.

As humans, especially in the western world, we want what we want, and we want it now. We trumpet personal desires over everything else, sometimes at the expense of communal and societal good. It is worth noting, for those who claim to follow Jesus, that he spent his time with all the “wrong” people and showed compassion to those that society and even the established church of the day intentionally put aside and written off.

Today, I believe, we have seen a shift toward bridging the divide of those put aside and treated differently. Today was not a call to disband all policing, it was a call against policing that violates good procedure and policy. Today was not a referendum against police, it was a statement against personal violence against another. We need laws, because we don’t live with God’s love first. We need enforcers of those laws, because our selfish nature requires external accountability. Today was holding behavior accountable. What we need even more than accountability is true, equal, justice. I believe we are all made in God’s image and that we need learn to see it in each other better. Let us strive to be better humans. Let us hold each other accountable to the highest principles of love and care. Let us come together as the wonderfully varied and special people we are, learn from each other, be enriched by each other’s differences, and become the great people we have the potential to be.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Brian

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