A peaceful prayer for holy unrest

This Sunday is the feast of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter, which marks the beginning of the season in which many Christians remember and live into the reality of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus. One common Pentecost passage comes from the Gospel according to John, chapter 20: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit…'”

Pentecost feels particularly poignant to me this year because of COVID, and especially because of the latest viral videos exposing “white privilege” and racism in our country. I hate and lament these anti-Christ and anti-Spirit realities for the threat they pose to my two youngest kids, whom I love, and to my friends who happen to be “people of color,” and to the privileged among us who have dismissed or ignored them for too long.

May George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery rest in peace. May Christian Cooper find freedom to birdwatch in peace. May the Spirit of God move Amy Cooper and the Amy Cooper in us toward the love-for-enemy-and-neighbor realities of Jesus and Jesus’ kingdom. 

May we all have eyes to see the terrible hypocrisy of angry, openly armed white protesters being allowed to occupy state capitols, while riot police greet angry, unarmed protesters of racial injustice with tear gas. 

May the Spirit who convicts us of sin bring us holy unrest until our African-American neighbors no longer need fear wearing a hoody or going for a jog or being mistaken for a crime suspect by fearful, aggressive police officers.

May the peace of holy unrest be with you (and us).


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