A Prayer for Reconciliation
Over the past several days I have been deeply saddened and troubled by the loss of life, hatred and violence that is occurring across our nation. My heart has grown increasingly heavy as I have pondered the effects of systemic racism in our country.
At NNU, we affirm the words of the Church of the Nazarene’s Manual statement on racism and discrimination. You can read the entire statement here, but let me highlight some portions:
We believe that God is the Creator of all people, and that of one blood are all people created.... Therefore, we renounce any form of racial and ethnic indifference, exclusion, subjugation, or oppression as a grave sin against God and our fellow human beings. We lament the legacy of every form of racism throughout the world, and we seek to confront that legacy through repentance, reconciliation, and biblical justice. We seek to repent of every behavior in which we have been overtly or covertly complicit with the sin of racism, both past and present; and in confession and lament we seek forgiveness and reconciliation.... We call upon Nazarenes everywhere to identify and seek to remove acts and structures of prejudice, to facilitate occasions for seeking forgiveness and reconciliation, and to take action toward empowering those who have been marginalized.
I pray that these are more than just words. As I have searched my own heart and examined my own actions, I pray that my life and actions will reflect the words of Jesus to love God and love others. I am also praying for all those involved and touched by these events—family members and friends, protesters, law enforcement officers, governmental officials, and all of us. May we all live lives guided by these commands, and may we be instruments of grace, healing, peace, and reconciliation as we express the love of Christ to all people.
Joel K. Pearsall