The video footage is more than disturbing, it is mind-boggling.
“I can’t believe what we just saw!” We all watched in horror-filled disbelief as George Floyd, handcuffed and pinned to the ground by an officer’s knee on his neck, gasped, “I can’t breathe!” Mr. Floyd died as others helplessly watched. This senseless act cannot be excused or simply dismissed by any of us because it affects all of us.
The list of African American men that have suffered death through senseless acts, like this one, continues to grow, even as the racial tensions and divisions in our nation continues to escalate. The voices of Christians, as well as all of good will, dare not remain idly silent, as these nonsensical acts continue.
It is the job of every Christian to serve as conduits of grace, mercy, and love so that the dark forces of our world might experience the liberating light of Jesus Christ. It is our job to help stamp out hatred in any form. Therefore, I encourage all United Methodist to pray for the families that are affected by this most recent tragedy, as well as those suffering a similar plight in recent months. I remind us all that it is our duty, as sisters and brothers, to stand-up, speak-out, and advocate for those that are hurting and marginalized, so that justice may become a reality.
I invite you to join me in praying for the Floyd family, the cities of Minneapolis / St. Paul, and other communities throughout our Nation and World experiencing unrest and turmoil. As we pray, let us also remain firmly committed to the task of renouncing the spiritual forces of wickedness, as we resist evil, injustice, oppression and pledge anew our commitment to walk after the manner of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Frank J. Beard