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My Heart Is Heavy

Brothers and Sisters,

I’ll be transparent. My heart is heavy over all that has transpired this past week and weekend regarding George Floyd and all the events that have followed his death. I’m distracted by it throughout each day because of the ugliness and weightiness of it all. It all makes my stomach turn. This is obviously one of many horrific and tragic events that has happened throughout history, through American history, and in the present era and year. This week, however, feels especially heavy.

I keep thinking about George Floyd crying out that he can’t breathe. His words and distress were disregarded and ignored. I keep thinking about his immense suffering and death. I don’t claim to know all the details of the situation prior to or during the final minutes. I wasn’t there. None of us were. We didn’t see and hear everything. But I did see several minutes of the video, as you may have. Even though I don’t currently know the thoughts and motivations of the police officers or every detail, I do know that terrible things happened. They shouldn’t have. He should be alive.

I keep thinking about the unknown number of people this has happened to and the fear and pain they must have felt (and their loved ones as a result). I keep thinking about our black brothers and sisters in Christ and all other black human beings who are angry, hurting, grieving, lamenting, and fearful. As a new dad, I think about their kids and the fact that they have to somehow explain this to them and teach them how to live in the midst of this. I think about what they might feel when they go for a run or go to the bank or drop their kids off at school or have family dinner in their own home. I also keep thinking about the countless lives that are being upended, harmed, and threatened by the violent aftermath that’s still going on. There are so many other thoughts. I mostly don’t know what to say or even what to pray about at times. It’s heavy stuff.

I know this though: There are many members of the body of Christ that are suffering and hurting because of this. That’s a fact. That’s their real experience, and they need our support. They are part of us and we are part of them. To ignore or disregard their pain and experience is unloving and ungodly. We must grieve with those who grieve, weep with those who weep, and lament with those who lament, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ. First Corinthians 12:26 reminds us that, “if one member (of the body of Christ) suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” We must suffer with all our fellow Christians, but right now it’s especially important to hear the cries of our black brothers and sisters and do what we can to help bear their unique burdens (even though we will never get close to knowing all the ways this affects their lives and families).

I pray we would be slow to speak and quick to listen. I pray we would not assume we know the answers or that we understand, or that it can all just be explained away with logic or by reading and watching a few things on the internet. I pray we would not be flippant or defensive or arrogant or indifferent or apathetic. I pray we would not forget or move forward without serious reflection and a commitment to help and serve how we can. I pray that we would not assume we are always right. In fact, we should assume we are often wrong and be quick to admit it and change our ways. I pray we would love everyone with the sacrificial love of Christ, and especially our black brothers and sisters this week and onward. I can’t wait for the kingdom of God to fill this planet because it will be a kingdom of righteousness, peace, and love. Sin and death will be destroyed. All tears and pain will disappear. Come, Lord Jesus!

I will be praying tonight with my family about all of these issues and more related to them. I call on you, my church family, to intentionally set aside time tonight (Monday, June 1) to pray for:

  • The gospel of Jesus to bring peace between God and people and peace between humans in Christ (Ephesians 2)
  • The Black Community
  • Our nation
  • Justice to penetrate every aspect of our national and community life
  • Christians across America to demonstrate the radical mercy of Jesus to those who wrong them
  • Any corruption in the church of Jesus Christ and in human systems and institutions to be exposed and rooted out
  • Any known or unknown prejudices and biases in our own hearts to be exposed and rooted out by the Holy Spirit and His Word

Those are to name a few. There are many others you could pray through.

I don’t know what you think about all these issues or what you will think about this email. I’m just one Christian man, grieving and lamenting over the sinfulness and violence and hatred and darkness that I see. I’m trying to process what I’m seeing and hearing through the lens of Scripture. I’m not claiming to have the answers or to understand most of the things going on. I’m very finite and limited, as are you. I simply wanted to share my current thoughts with you, as your pastor, in an effort to be helpful.

We are the church of Jesus, designed to live as light in the midst of darkness. Everything we do or don’t do, reflects on Christ and his reputation. We need God’s wisdom to know how to help, serve, and glorify God in these things, especially since we are all ignorant about many things. We all have blind spots. Thank you for reading this. Thank you for listening. Thank you for praying tonight. At the end of the day I want our church to grow in our love and care for others. I want us to love the world, every human, with the amazing love of God. Let’s stand together in the name of Jesus and love with the love of Christ.

All for Christ,

Pastor Chad

Chad Kettler

Chad serves GracePoint Church as the Lead Pastor-Elder under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  Along with the other Pastor-Elders, he shepherds the congregation and leads the church towards a biblical vision.
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