On my Facebook page, a poor soul made the mistake of saying that All Lives Matter, and the gathered community raged around him for hours. Finally someone used this analogy, and I think it's good. There were 100 sheep, and one was separated from the rest. Jesus went out looking for the one. When he returned with the one, the 99 all said, "You left us alone. Didn't our lives matter?" To which Jesus responded, "Yes, but in that moment, this sheep was in trouble, and you were safe." Yes, all lives matter. Yes, blue lives matter. Yes, brown lives matter. But right now it is black lives that are in trouble, and it is black lives that must be lifted up and especially cared-for right now. It is systems and beliefs and pre-conceptions around black lives that must change. And it is, for those of us who are part of the 99, our own mindsets and sense of privilege that must be challenged, so the one can be brought safely back into the fold.
God, who loves us with a love that will not let us go, we do all stand in the need of your love and mercy at this time. Some need to just be wrapped in your love and reminded that they don't deserve what's happening, and that they are worthy. Some need to learn that all persons are persons, and not animals to be treated carelessly, and with disdain. Some need to find ways to be supportive, while also challenging their own prejudices and fears. Each of us need courage to bring change to our country, and to ensure that systems change so these kinds of things do not keep happening. Send your Spirit to comfort, to lead, to encourage us that in everything we will be your disciples, and live together as you intend....Amen.