Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Post-Trial Statement - Calvary Presbyterian Church, Hawthorne, CA

Sunday, July 14, 2013 … a statement - Calvary Presbyterian Church, Hawthorne, CA

My heart is troubled.

I am deeply disappointed with George Zimmerman’s acquittal … I believe he was guilty of manslaughter … he provoked the encounter with Trayvon Martin when advised to stand down. Then, in the fight, with Trayvon getting the upper hand, George Zimmerman used his gun to kill the boy.

That’s how I see it!

I know that some feel justice was done.

I know that others feel betrayed by a legal system that has far too often revealed its tragic weaknesses.

While we live in a land of laws, however noble and good those laws may be on a piece of paper, they are good only when interpreted by good people who strive for the common good and not just their own good … and those laws, however noble, are noble only when noble people put them into practice, consistently for all.

There are many questions here that Christians need to ponder … the last thing God needs from us is to retreat from reality, to hide in our prayers and songs. We have to live in this world, as it is, if we hope to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

No one lights a lamp, said Jesus, and then covers it with a bushel. No, the lamp is lit for a purpose - to let our light shine, that others will see our good works and praise our Father in heaven.

A part of our good works is to bring to the matters of life our very best in faith, hope and love, critical thought and keen assessment … and to live the LORD’s Prayer, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

If we are convinced that God’s will was done yesterday, then so be it. Be at peace.

As for me, I believe the legal system failed God’s will yesterday in Florida, as it has failed for millions of people in this nation - and sadly, it’s has failed miserably for people of color. That’s a fact, and we cannot and must not hide from the truth, ugly as it is.

I pray that calm heads will review these matters, and that Christians will raise up the bright light of justice … and seek the common good … for all Americans, whatever their color, whatever their race, whatever their religious persuasion.

Christians have a chance to set the pace, and hold before the world something better.

May it be so … unto the glory of God!

The Rev. Dr. Tom Eggebeen

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