Thought For The Week 14 June 2020
Welcome to our service today, we’re so glad you have come. It feels good to be re-establishing a pattern of gathering together- something I really missed during our autumn hibernation. We are slowly getting back to normal although we will be having combined services for a while; At St Stephen’s through June and the first 2 Sundays in July at Trinity. We have traditionally combined at Trinity during the school holidays which is the reason for this. We are pleased to be offering morning tea this week following the service.
Our news has been full of the global protests in support of African Americans and people of colour the world over in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the knee of a police officer. I was struck by this reflection from fellow minister Sylvia Purdie:
I am suspicious of Psalm 37. I mean, I want to be one of those whose righteousness shines like the dawn (v6). But I don’t trust the categories. Who decides who is righteous and who is wicked? “For the arms of the wicked will be broken but the Lord supports the righteous”(v17).
Who gets to inherit the land and live in security? (v3 & 29) The Israeli or the Palestinian? Who will God protect from whom? (v40) When the President says that the police “keep us safe” who is “us”? Not the black man dying on the tarmac.
Psalm 37 tips the injustice of today on its head – those who prosper now may not be those God is lifting up. But is silence and calm our calling in the face of oppression? (7-8) Or might the Good Spirit be in the raised fist?
What if we are all a mix of good and evil? blessed and cursed? The categories of righteous and wicked cut too deep and are too tightly bound to the colour of our skin.