How Habakkuk Teaches Us to Respond to Our World Today
By The Rev. Canon Michael Gilton | June 3, 2020
“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you ‘Violence!’ and you will not save? … I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me. … Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 1:2; 2:1, 3:17-19
Without question, since May 25th, our country has been enveloped in deeply troubling chaos. There are many who cry out for justice, for the end of racism, and in support of the dignity of all people; and there are many who decry rioting and violence; and there are many who wonder when the injustice and violence will end and what they can do about it.
I do not know a single person who thinks the death of Mr. George Floyd was anything other than heinous and unjustified, neither do I know anyone unaffected or unmoved by the events of the last week.
2600 years ago, the prophet Habakkuk looked out on the world and was similarly distraught and confused as he saw violence and injustice. In response, he cried out to the Lord, expecting the Lord to reply, and, with great faith, Habakkuk commended himself and his situation completely into the hands of the Lord.
In Habakkuk, I hear a call to our church today.
First, pray. Cry out to the Lord! Intercede for justice, an end of violence, reconciliation among all peoples, and a spirit throughout our country of respecting the dignity of every human being. On Sunday, we will use a special form of the Prayers of the People, in which we will petition the Lord for these very same things. Between now and then, I urge us all to be in prayer.
Secondly, set your hope on Christ. See Jesus enduring violence and infinite injustice. Hear the Son crying out in forsakenness to the Father. And see the empty tomb – our assurance that justice is given, violence ended, sin defeated and Love triumphant. Pray the Gospel into your anguish and fear, confident that even when the world seems at its worst, nothing can separate anyone from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Finally, please know our clergy are here for you. If you wish to speak with me, Fr. Clayton, Fr. Ryan, or Deacon Joanna, please do not hesitate to call or email us. We are available to cry out with you, to listen to what the Lord has said to you in reply to your prayers, and to help us all embrace Christ’s victory over evil.