We are a church…we are a congregation forged out of oppression and marginalization. This is a church that is no stranger to violence. Many of you have experienced violence in your own lives…and against your own persons. The death of Michael Brown and the events that have followed in Ferguson, Missouri have reminded us that ours is a world on fire and I know that this is not a congregation that is willing to sit quietly as people and cities burn. In the midst of violence and oppression against black people and black bodies, I have asked these two young men…who are members of our church…to join me here on stage and to stand with me to remind us of what is at stake in this conversation. I ask you to raise your hands. In raising our hands, we are joining with churches throughout the world…to say not that we are a people of surrender…although there are people who have been shot raising their hands in the midst of surrendering…but rather to say that we are people that stands together united to resist racism in all of its forms. And as we stand with our hands raised, we raise our hands to God knowing that it is God who can take away the racism, bigotry and oppression out of our society and even out of our own hearts. Let us pray deeper.
God we invite you to convict our own hearts…to convict this church. God to fill us up…that we will be a people that stands for justice…that stands for reconciliation…and that truly becomes the change that we want to see in the world. Make it so. Hallelujah. Amen.