FROM ETHAN VANSE
When followers of Jesus come face to face with brokenness, what do we do? Maybe for you, brokenness stirs up feelings that you’re not quite sure what to do with or you don’t quite understand how to engage it.
Well, the good news is that the Bible doesn’t leave us helpless.
Right around the corner is a holiday that many of us love to celebrate as we kick off the summer—Memorial Day weekend. It’s a long weekend. And often for us, it’s a time of backyard barbecues, picnics, and fun. But it’s also a time when we celebrate something very meaningful to many of us. It’s a time when we celebrate the sacrifice that men and women made for our country, by laying down their lives for the freedoms that we celebrate.
It’s a time when we look back and we reflect, and for many of us we’re vividly reminded that our world is a broken place. We’re reminded that it takes brave men and women to stand up to the brokenness so that others can enjoy freedom and peace.
100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre
This Memorial Day, while we celebrate the beginning of summer, and we remember our brave men and women that fought and died for our country, we also have the opportunity to remember and observe a time when brokenness came to our city. It came to our main street, and Tulsa was torn apart by the Tulsa race massacre.
This year, as we remember the 100th anniversary our hope is that there will be healing, closure, and people will be able to heal from an event that was maybe the darkest moment in our city’s history.
When followers of Jesus come face to face with brokenness, what do we do?
One of the things that we wanted to do as we approach this Memorial Day weekend is to take a thoughtful approach by asking this question: When followers of Jesus come face to face with brokenness, what do we do?
3 Ways to Respond to Brokenness
Maybe for you, it stirs up feelings that you’re not quite sure what to do with or you don’t quite understand how to engage it. Well, the good news is that the Bible doesn’t leave us helpless. In fact, can I just gently challenge you with this thought? Followers of Jesus are supposed to be in the middle of brokenness. We’re supposed to be the ones that engage our community and carry the characteristics of the Kingdom of God to our world.
Our hope is that Tulsa will be an example of a group of people that says we don’t have all the answers and we certainly look back in our history and we didn’t get it right all the time, but we’re a group of people that want to move forward together. We want unity, peace, harmony, and we want to be the kind of people that God can use.
1. In the face of brokenness we pray
When we don’t know what to do, our first response is to pray. Prayer connects our problems to the source of hope and healing—Jesus. Christ followers are now supposed to be the solution. Instead, Christ followers are the channel for the solution—Jesus. We’re meant to be the hands and feet of Jesus. But by ourselves, we don’t often get it right. So we pray.
GOD SHOWS UP, AND HE HEALS OUR LAND
In fact, 2 Chronicles 7v14 tells us that when we humble ourselves and we pray, God shows up, and He heals our land. Don’t you love that language? That’s really the prayer for this Memorial Day weekend—that when it would be very likely for people to have raw emotions and nervous energy, and maybe on a weekend that could bring more hurt, we’re praying that Tulsa is an example of healing.
THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO SPIRITUALLY SET THE PACE FOR OUR CITY.
Any time you feel anxious, overwhelmed, confused, or just a little uncomfortable, let that be a trigger for you to pray instead of pushing the tension away. As a follower of Jesus, our job is to turn to God and intercede for our city, to pray for our officials, and to pray for our community. This is an opportunity for us to spiritually set the pace for our city.
2. In the face of brokenness we serve
Anytime followers of Jesus engage something that feels broken, we’re to show up ready to serve. Not judging the situation, figuring out all the rights and wrongs. No, we show up with a serving towel, and we say, “Hey, we are here to help.”
Where do I serve?
Throughout the year, we rally people together to serve, to show up as the hands and feet of Jesus in the parts of our city that are underserved or underrepresented, and lift people up. Every time we get together to serve our city God does amazing things because we’re willing to just show up and love people.
3. In the face of brokenness we support
There are incredibly smart men and women that God has called to be very instrumental in seasons like this. You don’t have to have all the answers, but you can support the people who have dedicated their careers to bring hope. Pray for them, support them financially, and rally around them to help do what they’re already doing.
We have amazing men and women that are part of our church and our city. They serve in everything from the government to law enforcement, in the school systems, and on outreaches. As a church, we’re going to continue to support them.
We hope you’ll join us as we pray, serve, and support our city.