My home is in a city that most people probably don’t think much about, except maybe on the first Saturday in May. We have around a million people in the metropolitan area. Generally if you hear about Louisville on the news, it’s for basketball, and occasionally you may relate us with UPS, KFC, or Louisville Slugger. This is an average city in America … usually.
Not in 2020, though. And definitely not today.
Oddly, unless you live here, you probably haven’t heard much about what’s going on here, but in the coming days, I suspect you will.
Breonna Taylor. Have you heard her name?
We have. We will never forget it, either. We have heard her name for 118 days of protests. We have seen it on 26 billboards around the city, purchased by Oprah. We have seen her name in our social media feeds and heard it on the news. You can’t be a Louisvillian and not know who Breonna Taylor was.
Yet, if you don’t live here, you probably don’t know of this young lady, whose case has become a platform for police reform, Black Lives Matter, and social justice.
Taylor was killed by police during a raid of her home on March 13, the same day things shut down for COVID. Police had a “no-knock” warrant, and there is confusion as to whether this warrant was executed without knocking. However, they did attempt to knock down the door, and Taylor’s boyfriend shot them. Fire was returned and Taylor was shot repeatedly, and subsequently died from her injuries.
There are all kinds of reports regarding the events of that fateful night, and this case has been tried in the jury of public opinion by various factions, yet the truth is that only a few people have any actual knowledge of what happened.
Folks from BLM, Until Freedom, the NFAC, and other activist groups, as well as a whole lot of angry individuals, want to see the arrest of “the cops that murdered Breonna Taylor.” Others are “backing the Blue.” Due to the high level of sensitivity, and need for further investigation of this officer-involved shooting, the FBI and Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron have gotten involved, and the results of their investigation, and the decision of the Grand Jury, of whether or not to charge anyone in Taylor’s death, are likely to be announced this week, perhaps today. Last week, Taylor’s family was awarded an enormous civil settlement.
NO JUSTICE .. NO PEACE! has been the rally cry of the revolution … and make no mistake, this is a revolution. It’s a revolution of ideals, and today could be a turning point.
Many Christians claim Psalm 46 and other Scriptures that promise God’s protection. I believe God will protect us through anything, but that doesn’t mean we will come out without a scratch. Many of the faithful New Testament saints and church heroes were tortured, persecuted, and even martyred for their faith. And we are not exempt from the consequences of other people’s actions.
Grandmaster Jay, of the NFAC, has mentioned more than once that if justice doesn’t happen in Louisville, this will be the stage for “the shot heard ’round the world,” a reference to the American Revolution. There are those who want a second American Civil War, and it isn’t too far removed from reality to envision Louisville as ground zero.
I cannot weigh in on the facts of March 13, with regard to Ms. Taylor. I believe there are many possibilities. I acknowledge that injustice occurs, and that it likely happens statistically more often to black people than to white. I also acknowledge that slavery and segregation are stains on our nation’s history, and that we may be reaping what our predecessors sewed. Yet I also know a decent amount about police, and, to an extent, understand their pressures and protocols.
Regardless of speculations and “sides,” I ask my brothers and sisters in Christ to consider this from a Biblical perspective. Here are some takeaways for me:
- We should not judge a situation about which we do not have the facts.
- We should not allow the enemy to divide us on any and every difference we may have. Instead, we need to look for agreement, and have honest conversation about differences.
- God may intervene on behalf of the believers in our city, our nation, and our world, or He may allow us to go through some intense difficulties; either way He gets the glory.
- “Solutions” that involve proving whatever “side” we are on are not solutions. People are rarely, if ever, convinced, by repeatedly being told we are right and they are wrong. We do need to call out wrongdoing and push for justice, but there are ways to do this that are more likely to change hearts and minds.
- No justice, no peace is not an attainable ideal. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and the Just Judge, is the only answer to what ails our society. Without Him, there is neither justice, nor peace.
- No matter what, God is on His throne. “Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him” (Job 13:15).
Today your people are hurting. We have been awaiting an outcome of this case for several months. We anticipate it very soon and we are holding our breath as we wait for the announcement and the outcome of that announcement.
I don’t ask that we be delivered from whatever may ensue; I only ask that You be glorified, that we be brought to repentance, and that many come to know You as a result.
I pray for Breonna Taylor’s family and friends, that they may know peace. I pray for the police officers and other officials involved, that they also may know peace.
I pray for every LMPD officer, for Mayor Fischer, for AG Daniel Cameron, for the FBI agents and the Grand Jury, as well as every other person directly involved in this determination, that they would know the truth and carry out justice, whatever that may be, and however that should look.
I pray that the Christ-followers in this city would so shine forth with love and truth that others would have to take notice. And should persecution ensue, that we would present ourselves worthy of Your Great Name.
I love this city, but my citizenship is in heaven, and I look forward to the day when I meet You face-to-face and enter into your rest, in a place where there is no more death, no more injustice, no more rioting, no more uncertainty, a place of incredible and unshakeable peace. But in the meantime, enable me to be the best citizen of this city, and this country, that I possibly can, and make me a beacon of justice and peace.
In Jesus Precious and Holy Name. Amen.
Today, things are unstable in Louisville, and in many places. We are not guaranteed justice or peace in this world; in fact, we are assured that we will have trials. We need to put our hope in Christ, and in His kingdom, because He is the one who gives lasting, real justice and peace.
If you are not yet a Christ-follower, please consider making that decision today. Simply acknowledge that you are a sinner, meaning you agree with God that you’ve done bad things, and that you have offended Him with those actions. Because of this, you don’t deserve to spend eternity in His presence. However, God sent His Son, Jesus, to live as a man, to identify with our weaknesses, to live a perfect life, and to die an atoning death, not for His own sins, because He was sinless, but for our sins. Accept that payment for your sins and transfer your allegiance from this world and your flesh to Him. Commit to allowing Him to be in charge of your life from here on out. Confess Him as your Lord, knowing that He died for your sins and rose from the dead, confirming that He is God and that He has authority to forgive sins and power to give you eternal life. When you do, He will save you and begin the process of sanctifying you, which means making you a more Christlike person. Your eternity will be secure, and you will be reconciled to Him. This will give you peace, joy, and comfort, no matter what circumstances come your way. Out of response for what He has done, get plugged into a local congregation, get baptized, read the Bible, pray, and serve others, all in order to know Him better and to glorify God to others, all because you’re grateful for His free gift. We can’t earn any of this; we simply accept it and it’s ours.