TW: Derek Chauvin trial, police brutality and death
As Holy Week has come and gone and we are in the liturgical season of Easter, I have been thinking about the new life that Jesus offers us. Perhaps more importantly, how we are co-creators in creation in this gift of new life. When I think of life, I think of death which is fitting because in the Christian calendar we are asked to contemplate our own morality (Ash Wednesday) before being given new life (Easter).
Speaking of life, I have been told in life, there is no such thing as coincidences. As a Christian, this prompts me ask to what God may be revealing to me through these so-called coincidences. For example, I don’t think its a coincidence that the Derek Chauvin trial coincided with Holy Week this year. Holy Week is the week that we remember the events leading up to Jesus’s death on the cross. Likewise, during the Derek Chauvin trial we remember (and were shown) the events leading up to George Floyd’s death. In the weeks surrounding Floyd’s death, black theologians and pastors made comparisons between Jesus and George Floyd. Both of them were killed by men whose job it was to use violence (if necessary) to uphold the status quo because they were deemed a threat by the people in power. Both of them were killed in ways that are inhumane and reserved for criminals in society. Both Jesus and George Floyd struggled to breathe in the final moments and ultimately, asphyxiation killed them.
This comparison is not perfect and I don’t have a grand declaration of its significance. But I know where my words fail me, the truth of God prevails. The same Jesus that said in Matthew 25:46, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me” is the same Jesus that is on the side of George Floyd and countless others who have been killed by police brutality. Death is bleak and heart retching, but the resurrection of Jesus has given us new life. A chance to start over, be a part of a new creation here on Earth. We get a taste of that when we pray the Lord’s Prayer together on Sundays saying, “let Your Will be done, here as it is in Heaven.”
In this Easter season, ask yourself what it looks like to be a part of the new creation of God’s kingdom? For myself, I find peace in the words, reflections, and prayers of black theologians. Cole Arthur Riley, the creator of blackliturgies Instagram account, has been a particular comfort to me. Especially her prayer and reflection of the life and legacy of Georgy Floyd (check it out!). Additionally, the words of Christopher Barnes invite us to true repentance (to use his words) in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death (read his article here).
I find hope in the promise of new creation of being co-creators with God to denounce white supremacy and all its forms. To declare Black Lives Matter with our words, actions, and hearts that is my prayer.