I was recently invited to preach at Walker Memorial Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. We met via Zoom (of course) to finalize the details and to introduce ourselves to each other. Each preacher would enter the sanctuary to be filmed individually. We would preach to empty pews and take our cues from the balcony where the video recording was being managed.
I have been protesting in the streets since I, like millions of other Americans, witnessed the horrific death of Mister George Floyd. 8:46. Before the video surfaced, I was running with Ahmaud Arbery. He had been lynched in a Georgia neighborhood. It had all been recorded by another neighbor, William Bryan Jr., who claimed to be an innocent bystander but who has since been charged with felony murder. More details have surfaced and only make Ahmaud’s death more difficult to bear.
And more days have passed since the death of Breonna Taylor and her murderers have not been charged. She died on March 13th in her home after a “botched raid.” We have also learned of the death of twenty- three year old Elijah McClain; unarmed and not a guilty of any crime, he died nearly a year ago at the hands of police officers. Public attention has prompted the reopening of his case.
As I write, President Trump is trending on social media for several reasons, including his retweet of a video of some Florida supporters. They believe in him and “white power.” Trump’s aides have come out in his defense, telling anyone who still listens that he didn’t hear the words. The tweet has since been removed but lives on thanks to the Internet.
His poll numbers are declining and Confederate statues are falling around the country as Americans reexamine its story and decide that we can do without monuments to traitors and while we are at it racist branding. Bye, Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben! So much has changed in American society and yet so many churches are still unwilling to change the color of the carpet or the curtains.
It is no reason why Millennials and Generation Z would rather take to the streets in protest of police brutality than sit in front of a screen, only to remind persons to mute their phones. But, I digress. I preached a message titled “Bring the Church to Justice” because… Well, you’ll see. I’m up first.