Monday, July 18, 2016

After Baton Rouge

The flag was lowered on Friday in a demonstration of sorrow and respect for the victims of the Nice terrorist attack. Before it could be raised again, three more law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge were murdered yesterday. 

I shook my head and blinked back tears. One of my first thoughts was, "We can't even lower the flag for them, because it's already lowered." 

Raising and lowering the flag for Blue Springs has done something deep in me. In a way, I am symbolically grieving on behalf of our town, our state, our nation, as I move the flag up and down the pole.

It's something I can do, but I wish there were more.

Today, I'll go to the town hall, raise the flag for a moment, and lower it on behalf of the men who died needlessly yesterday. I know our President hasn't ordered it, but it's the only tangible thing I can think of to do.

Besides pray.

And I'm doing that already.

Baton Rouge followed too quickly on the heels of Dallas. I'm still reeling from the last massacre of law enforcement officers, my heart still in shock. I guess we all are. When I heard the news yesterday, I was filled with sorrow and horror at a world gone wrong.

We are sin-broken and only a sin-fix can help us. 

We all have a sin problem that began in the Garden of Eden and has shown no sign of dissipating since the beginning of time. We are born in sin and we live in sin, but there is hope. 

God loved us so much that He gave His only Son to die and be raised again to pay for our sin. We can live in His power, His grace, His love. We can be different.

Sin is inherent in our nature but it does not have to control us. It does not have to take control and incite us to plow down men and women who have vowed to serve and protect us. 

Murder is sin.

It's not the only sin, but it is sin. Not an act of heroism. Not an honorable act of martyrdom.

There is nothing to celebrate in murder, and those who think there is are deceived, if not criminally insane.

There is hope, but it is not found in more laws, military or civil might, or social fixes. 

The only real hope is found in humility, repentance, renouncing our sin, and seeking God's face. People of God, it's our turn to demonstrate the kind of repentance that brings change.  

Let's do it together.

Almighty God, You alone are righteous. We confess that we are a sinful people and, as a nation and individually, we have not followed you as we ought.

We confess that we have not loved You with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We have loved the things the world offers, and they have become idols to us. 

We have tried to balance with one foot in the world and one foot in faith, and we have failed.

We confess that we have not loved our neighbor as You have loved us, much less as we love ourselves. 

We confess that we have allowed our differences to separate us, whether that be skin pigment or socioeconomic status. 

We have not loved life the way You do. We have not stood for life. 

We have not fought against injustice.

We have loved busyness rather than righteousness.

Oh, God, forgive us and make us different. 

Help us to renounce the sin we love and embrace Your righteousness. Help us to love You and our neighbor. Help us to study Your Word and obey.

As a nation, we are perishing, and we beg You to intervene. We are killing ourselves, slaughtering our unity, and destroying our own hope. 

We beg You to heal our land. Save us, Lord, for we cannot save ourselves.

We ask it in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Blended Fruit 

#BatonRouge #repent #sin #policeshooting #yourlifematterstome