Prayers for us all...

Dear Friends of Earl Palmer Ministries, 

Our prayers continue for the Lord’s healing process toward all who are victims of the Corona Virus pandemic, for protection and strength among those who serve as healers, for those who are working to find treatment and to develop a reliable vaccine, and for each of us as we responsibly follow the safe distance, face mask and hand-washing instructions to halt the contagious spread of the virus.

Our prayers are added for the Lord’s presence with those brothers and sisters and grieving families who have suffered harm and even death because of acts of cruelty against them by law enforcement officers acting in violation of every standard of community public trust, even worse when these acts are marked by racist hatred.

I am grateful that across America, “Black Lives Matter” protests and advocacy marchers in almost every city of our country demonstrated peacefully for a call against all racism and for a victory of love over hate.  I regret the instances of violent marauders who attacked and sought to destroy.  The overwhelming impact of those who marched, however, was a cry for racial justice and a message for hope.  We, who follow Jesus, have a clear mandate from our Savior and Lord to work for the victory of love as our mandate, too.  

My prayers are for two kinds of healing in our land today: For the healing of our bodies against the virus, therefore, we obey the doctors and adhere to guidance based on science to forward that end; For the wounds of our souls we need to obey the Good Shepherd and his greatest commandment.  “Jesus said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). But who is my neighbor? Racial definitions of worth and belovedness don’t work well today just as they did not work well centuries ago. G.K. Chesterton was alarmed in 1934 when he saw what was happening in the Germany of Adolf Hitler.  He called it “a cult of race…a savage tribal nationalism.” (1)

During these last few weeks of “stay at home” rules I have been studying St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. I found words for today from Paul, a Jew by birth and a friend of Greeks, who was a first century anti-racist. He shares Christ’s love with a city of mainly Greek Christians.  Listen to Paul as he draws those believers away from narrowness into a good place of joyous wideness, into a very large forever family: “But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (Ephesians 2:13-14).

This peace we need in city streets, hospitals, families and with neighbors we were afraid to love before.

Grace and Peace, Earl F. Palmer

1.Novak, Michael, Editor. (1987). The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton IV. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. (Pages 591-639)