For [Christ Jesus] Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility ... that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. Ephesians 2:14-16
Since August, you and I have watched the terrible and tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri, a community which is, almost in the "backyard" of Lutheran Hour headquarters. We were all most deeply saddened at the ending of a young life, and amazed at the sheer number, speed, and intensity of the responses which were generated by Michael Brown's shooting.
Everybody, and I do mean everybody, seemed to "know," and was eager to share the inside details of what had really happened. If the facts disagreed or seemed a bit fuzzy, the TV cameras didn't mind, the reporters assigned to Ferguson needed film footage.
While the Grand Jury spent months pouring through mountains of evidence and countless hours of testimony, protestors called for justice, and police were often condemned for responding too strongly one time-and for not responding strongly enough at another.
Then, Monday night, the prosecuting attorney announced the Grand Jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson. Shortly after, while President Obama was pleading for peaceful reaction, cars and buildings were set aflame on the streets in Ferguson. Fire fighters rushed out to battle the flames, only to be driven back by gunfire.
This tragic situation has laid bare the devastating affect sin has had on our human family. The protests in St. Louis and beyond are the result of generations of distrust, hurt, anger, and pain. And the devil fans the flames of racial prejudice and distrust through the selfish, criminal acts of those who hide themselves among the protestors to loot the businesses and burn them to the ground.
No doubt, civil leaders and government officials will work in the months and years to come to address these concerns and work for greater social equality. But God has given us the only true answer to the hostility which divides us from each other. His dear Son, Jesus Christ, took our guilt and sin on Himself, and suffered in our place the wrath and punishment of God. At the cross Jesus provides the remedy for all our pain, anger, hurt, and distrust.
In Jesus' body, God put to death our hostility, uniting us to Himself, and to each other. As we share that glorious story with our family, friends, and neighbors, the Holy Spirit works faith and genuine love and concern for each other. The one lasting solution to the devastation in Ferguson-and wherever you call home-is Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is far too easy for Satan to stir up our emotions and set us against each other. Remind us that Your Son Jesus took away all our sins and destroyed our hostility on the cross, that we may genuinely love one another, and share Your peace which surpasses all understanding. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries