Our times are characterized by cruelty. From one news cycle to the next, violence and hatred grab the headlines and underscore the condition of our world. We don’t even have time to absorb one atrocity before another wave rolls in. Ukraine. Buffalo. Uvalde. Tulsa. So many precious image-bearers of our Creator, cut down in cold blood. We lament the devaluing of human life on every hand.

Now we learn of rampant sexual abuse in a Christian denomination, with perpetrators knowingly protected and survivors silenced for decades. Our hearts break for those who were abused and for the cause of Christ, whose name is smeared.  

Mixed in with these death-dealing stories of the past few weeks, we have learned that perhaps our own longstanding pro-life value would be upheld in the highest court in our land. Roe v. Wade may be reversed. Our hearts can hope that returning jurisdiction to the states could result in fewer abortions. We pray for that and continue to come alongside our vulnerable neighbors in cases of unplanned pregnancies and all kinds of complicating hardships. We aim to be communities of compassion and practical care.

Our Book of Discipline says, “We are committed to the dignity and worth of all humans, including the unborn, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, color, socio-economic status, disability, or any other distinctions.” Paragraph 3222, “The Sanctity of Life” concludes, “The guiding principle, that all human life must be valued, respected and protected throughout all its stages, must be carefully and consistently applied…”

Clearly, our culture is not committed to these values, but we must be. To be motivated by the love of God for all people is to march to the beat of a different drummer. These times call for repentance, prayer, and involvement in solutions at every level in which we can participate.

We find ourselves drawn back to God’s promise from 2 Chronicles 7:14, “…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

In this season of Pentecost, our hearts cry out again for a movement of God’s Spirit that will transform lives, churches, communities, nations and even the world. Lord, hear our prayer. +