From Zephaniah to South Carolina

by DanWolgemuth on June 26, 2015

But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD, (Zephaniah 3:12)

A prophetic voice echoed in the souls of God’s chosen people. Through the valley of corruption, of injustice, of oppression, of religious heresy, of violence, during an historic time of fragmentation within the nation of Israel. A tribe to the north, a remnant to the south. Chaos was the order of the day.

But God wasn’t out of options. His plan was straightforward, relational, and impactful. He would plant His people in the middle of the brokenness.

There was no military counterattack, no strategic retaliation, and no weapon of war. God met the prevailing culture of chaos with the presence of His people. Hope embedded. Love extended.

In Charleston, SC, the violence that left a community reeling has ignited something similar. Outrageous hatred has been met with extravagant love. The Church of Jesus Christ has flourished in the face of pain, loss, and prejudice. Bullets poured fuel on the fire of a humble, God-honoring congregation.

The actions of a 21-year-old self-proclaimed racist couldn’t divide what God Himself blesses and ordains. Compassion, solidarity and unity answered the ringing sounds of murder with the eternal impact of love.

The images coming from Charleston were vivid, raw, authentic and compelling. Circles of men and women… hands clasped in unity, hearts lifted in grace and courage.

When other religious systems would reload, the Christians in Charleston forgave. While others would retaliate, the people of Charleston opened their hands and hearts… there were no fists raised.

What Dylann Roof believed would polarize and demoralize, God used to unite, inspire, restore, and transform. God’s people did what God’s people are called to do… they loved and served in the midst of the chaos as humble, lowly, grace-filled believers of Jesus.

And the world watched… in amazement and in disbelief. As embedded exiles stood tall. As light conquered darkness. As salt healed the wounds. Emmanuel AME and the community of Charleston showed us the way… indeed, they illuminated The Way, The Truth, The Life.

From Zephaniah to South Carolina. Consistent, powerful, profound… bullets are no match for the power of God’s amazing love.

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