We are living through a vulnerable time as we face the acute threat to human life in the coronavirus pandemic. In the midst of this we are now confronted with the death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement in Minnesota. The images of Mr. Floyd’s death that have surfaced are heartbreaking and disturbing. Let us offer our prayers for his eternal rest and that God console his family and community in this time of great pain. It is imperative that this matter be investigated and adjudicated with total impartiality so that justice can be served.
The wound that many are carrying with regard to race and its relationship to our criminal justice system has been tragically reopened. We cannot dismiss the outcry of the people for justice for all before the law. While we do not condone violent and destructive responses to this, let us, as people of faith, receive the justifiable feelings of anger, exasperation and despair that are being expressed with empathy and understanding.
And, finally, let us ask ourselves, how can we take the lesson that we are learning about the value of human life from COVID-19 and apply it to this situation? How can we carry out relationship building without any walls of color, gender, age, economic condition, political party or other divisions that plague us? I invite you to pray over these questions.
Most Reverend Gerald R. Barnes