Thoughts from Pastor Josh

Some interruptions are necessary. As people of faith, we are constantly challenged by the Spirit to see things in different ways and reflect on previous behavior. The unrest around us may lead us to reflect on race and racism in America and in our communities in a way we haven’t previously or to revisit our opinions and feelings. And well we grieve with the protestors and those that have lost homes and businesses we also grieve the wounds of racism around us.

I have been quite overwhelmed by these events this week, especially since I know the neighborhoods and many people affected in the Twin Cities. I have prayerfully been assessing my voice and response in the midst of it. My prayer is that you let the Holy Spirit into your own reflection and response. Your voice matters and is valuable and your neighbor’s voices are valuable too. It’s our choice who to listen to and who shapes our opinions.

There are consequences as a society when we do not listen to those that feel their voices are muted, their will’s oppressed, and see their children killed without accountability. Jesus calls us to listen to those voices, to respect and value them, as we use our voices to align our lives and the values of our community with his kingdom.

Here are three pieces that have helped me reflect on the events of the last several days.

As we remember the man who was killed in Minneapolis, it may be inspiring to hear more of his story and how he used his voice to heal the wounds of his community with the gospel.

I have also been moved by the response of faith communities in Minneapolis, as I have followed friends and colleagues there, particularly Ingrid Rasmussen who is the pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran in the middle of the most affected area.

I also have appreciated the insight of Trevor Noah, an author and comedian who grew up in Apartheid South Africa and has consistently delivered wisdom about how he sees America and the complexities and interrelatedness of its problems.

I hope these voices are helpful as you think of your voice and how you respond, and how we as a community as we love our neighbors– especially when that changes our eyes, ears, and hearts!