The Present Crisis
This past Pentecost Sunday while our fellowship, like so many churches, celebrated the wondrous coming of the Holy Spirit, something truly dreadful was coming upon our nation. Anger and despair over another tragic death of an African-American man caused by police exploded across the nation.
I am reminded today of James Russell Lowell’s poem “The Present Crisis” about American slavery. Lowell (1819-1891) wrote the poem to address the controversy over slavery leading up to the Civil War. Now, I do not believe that every problem in our society or the African-American community is traceable to slavery, however, as a Christian, I do believe the roots of sin to which slavery can be traced are no different than the roots of all social evil that provokes such a crisis as we are in. Accordingly, the truth of Lowell’s poem rings true for me in our “present crisis” and is worth considering. Here is an excerpt:
We can have faith that God is in the shadow, keeping watch over what is happening in America. Our nation has been plunged into chaos. Our hearts go out to those who have suffered. We all pray for peace and justice and change. As for the evildoers in the shadows who have looted and plundered and trampled on the grief and sorrow and longing of so many for a better world, I am confident, they will not succeed to ruin the purposes of God’s redemptive plan. He will bring good out of this and justice to the earth. As Job says of Him, “I know no purpose of Your’s can be withheld from You (Job 42:2). We see it dimly now, as Lowell reminds us, but Almighty God is in the shadows of this, too, keeping watch over it all, working out His gracious purpose for humanity through Jesus Christ, our Lord. It cannot be withheld from Him! .
– Pastor Jack Davidson
Read “The Church & Racial Reconciliation” from the Synod Executive of the ECO denomination.