Pastor Tia’s Devotion for June 10, 2020:
Dear faithful protesters in Christ’s name!
Taking a stand by kneeling is one of the highly symbolic images we are seeing these days. Protesters kneel, sometimes together with members of the police and politicians. It’s a simple, yet strong gesture. A humble acknowledgment that there is still lots to learn, lots to talk about, lots to reconcile, lots to heal, lots to change in this country.
It all started during the American football pre-season in 2016 in San Francisco. When 49ers’ black quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat instead of standing during the national anthem. A little later he started kneeling. To raise awareness of police brutality towards black people. Kaepernick tried to protest in a most effective and peaceful way-and knelt. And we all know that it took nearly 4 years for the NFL to publicly announce that they finally got his message and support the BlackLivesMatter movement.
Actually, it all started with the stoning of Stephen around 35 AD. Stephen, a person of color, protested the crucifixion of another person of color, Jesus Christ. So, he told everyone who cared to listen about his God who is strong in the weak and who leads his people through death to life. When he started calling the authorities “stiff-necked people” and accused them of persecuting prophets, they went ahead and stoned him. “And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts 7,60)
If you are protesting these days, this could become your new mini-prayer to go: “Lord, do not hold this sin (you name it) against them (and me).” While marching, standing and even kneeling. If you aren’t out in the streets these days due to the other pandemic, this could become your daily prayer for this nation and our world. “Lord, do not hold this sin (you name it) against them (and me).” And if you want to, try to kneel. It’s a simple, yet strong gesture. A humble acknowledgment that there is still lots to learn, lots to talk about, lots to reconcile, lots to heal, lots to change in this country. And that we can’t do it without God’s mercy, God’s grace and God’s ongoing fight for justice.
Wishing you healing kneeling moments, Pr Tia!