Preparing for Worship: The Desert Shall Rejoice

Preparing for Worship: The Desert Shall Rejoice

John Haralson   •   December 9, 2016

"...It's not over. Y'all hear me, it's not over.

It's not over until God says it's over."
Judy Scott

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Dear Friends,

In April of 2015, Judy Scott’s son, Walter, was shot and killed by a police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina. Scott was unarmed and fleeing from the officer after a routine traffic stop. The officer fired 8 shots, 5 of which hit Scott. Scott died at the scene.

This past week, the judge presiding over the trial of the officer declared this to be a mistrial due to a hung jury. All of this took place in spite of video evidence that contradicted the initial police reports and appeared to make this an open and shut case.

In the face of this, I marvel at how Judy Scott replied.

She stood tall and cried out against the injustice. She believes that her son’s killer will be brought to justice. And, most importantly, she believes that God will be the one to do this. She believes that God will vindicate her.

You see, Judy Scott is a Christian, and it is her belief in a loving and just God that has allowed her to stand and speak as she has. And, as an African- American Christian in America, she has been discipled in a tradition that runs deep with prophetic resistance and holy courage in the face of evil.

If you read the story of the Bible carefully, you will find that we have a lot to learn from Judy Scott. God’s people are people who are empowered, by God’s grace, to tell the hard truth about ourselves. We can begin to narrate our own sins and confess them to God and others.

And, belonging to God through faith in Jesus also empowers us to begin to tell the truth about the sin of others. By trusting in his holiness and fatherly love for us, we can begin to stand up and speak out against the sin of others. Yet, we are able to do so without a revenge-seeking spirit. We do this because we believe that God will fight on our behalf. He will seek justice. He will carry out his vengeance upon the earth.

In other words, we look forward to the day when God will vindicate us.

This Sunday: The Desert Shall Rejoice, Isaiah 35:1-10; Matthew 11:2-11; James 5:7-10; Psalm 146

I hope to worship with you.

Liturgy is here.

John