“If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”-1 John 4:20
This morning, I was excited to start my prayer time when I received a nudge from the Holy Spirit to break my silence on my blog. I was planning to write a cute article about the start of the last quarter of 2020 and autumn. God vetoed my idea and here I am writing this post. First and foremost, I am a Christian. There is no political party, movement or even aspects of my identity that are placed above my allegiance to God. Am I am perfect? Of course not and that is why Jesus was brutally murdered for my past, present and future sins. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God made a provision for me before I was born. He made a provision for all of us who call ourselves Christians. I am very moderate when it comes to my views.
The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump and the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump as well as multitudes of other people were infected with COVID-19. My prayers are with them for a speedy recovery and for God to heal them. I am not saying this for political reasons but a Christian and American. As Democratic Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden said in wishing the President and First Lady well, ” We have to come together as a nation.” Our nation has been leveled due to COVID-19 and the aftermath of it. As we head into flu season, we are all on alert as a nation and world. Former Vice President Biden is right. Although, we may not agree with someone, we should not wish harm to that person. That is not biblical. There is nowhere in the bible where it says pray and love everyone who looks, sounds, lives and votes like you.
As a black woman who is Nigerian-American, my heart has been broken and shattered with the curtains being pulled back on systemic racism with one tragic event after another as well as living a life of being discriminated against because of my race and gender. Systemic racism cannot be prayed away. It cannot legislated away. I believe prayer is a starting point but as it says in James 2:17, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” I am for the black lives matter movement not because my life matters more than anyone else’s life. I am for the black lives matter because attention needs to be bought to the fact that my life and people who look like me have been valued as less than for no other reason than our race. Slavery and Jim Crow may not exist but systemic racism has been the fabric of our nation for centuries and we need to dismantle the system as a nation. I am praying blinded eyes, heart and minds will be opened. I am praying that as a nation we can have honest conversations.
Mark 12:30-31 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.” Our neighbor maybe someone who does not look like us. Our neighbor maybe someone who has a different faith than us. Our neighbor maybe someone who is new to living in the United States. Our neighbor maybe someone who has a different lifestyle than us. Our neighbor maybe someone who votes differently than us or refuses to vote. Our neighbor may have more or less money than us. Our neighbor could be anyone and my question to you is this: “Would you withhold your prayers for someone based on the fact they are different from you?” I would hope a Christian would not look at someone and decide to withhold their prayers for them because they were different. May God open each our eyes and hearts to pray for our nation and world in a new and fired up way.