Crosswinds Family and Friends,
I am sure your heart is aching as mine is today. Last week when I saw the disgusting treatment and murder of George Floyd, I was left speechless. The image still haunts me. I could not help but pray for the Floyd Family. I knew how this senseless act affected me, and I prayed for others who would watch and wrestle with all the questions and cry for justice. I also prayed for my friends in law enforcement. As a pastor, who bears the wounds of seeing others in my call abuse their position in unspeakable ways, I knew the pain they would feel seeing those who took an oath to serve and protect act with such evil and malice. As protest rose in Minneapolis, I was thankful that I live in a country where peaceful protests are not merely allowed, but protected by our constitution. I prayed for the protestors and asked God to bring healing and justice. Then, the rioting began. Krista, my wife, shared that a lady, who once was part of the student ministry I led and pastored posted that she was scared her restaurant in Minneapolis would be looted. I asked God to protect her and her business. As the rioting spread throughout our nation, I was grieved that it overshadowed the peaceful protest and asked God to restore order, bring peace, and justice.
I regret that I live in a time where prayer is downplayed and outright attacked as the act of wishful thinkers not willing to do more. Prayer is what our nation needs. I am reminded of God’s invitation offered to us in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” We need God’s mercy, grace, and love. I hope, as a nation, we will humble ourselves, bow our knee before God, and pray.
Now, I agree prayer is not enough. I don’t mean that prayer is not powerful and necessary. It is our first step. It ought to be a believer’s first reaction in all things. We are to seek God, His path, His leading, and His power. But, we are to pray and obey. You and I are the hands and feet of God. We pray, then we follow His leading. We are Christ’s ambassadors (see: 2 Cor 5:20). We are “not to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom 12:21). God calls us to do good by “doing what is just, loving kindness, and walking humbly with Him” (Micah 6:8). We are to “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause” (Isa 1:17). Doing good in God’s sight includes seeking the just functioning of society. Remember, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt 5:9). God calls us to bring His peace amidst the chaos.
Please, join with me in prayer for our nation and step out in obedience to our Lord’s leading with His empathy and love promoting justice and peace. I stand with George Floyd’s family. I stand with the protestors. I stand with the police who have taken an oath and rightly desire to serve and protect. I ask our Lord to bring order to our cities ravaged by rioting. I ask the Lord to deliver the rioters stopping their unjust acts. I humble myself before my God and ask Him to heal our nation. I ask Him to give me ears to hear and eyes to see how I can bring His peace to the chaos.
I love each of you. We have been given an opportunity to show up and be the church. Let’s be the light of Christ shining in the darkness. God is working and calling us to join Him in His great work of love, reconciliation, and redemption.
Believing with each of you,
Pastor Craig Cooper