It’s been another momentous week in the life of our nation defined by the news that former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd. I believe this is a victory for the rule of law; and, therefore, a victory for law enforcement officers who desire to work within a criminal justice system that enshrines the dignity of every human being, regardless of skin color. It is also a hopeful sign to black and brown Americans that the criminal justice system can work for them and not against them; and a hopeful sign for all those who have prayed, protested and rallied in the public square over the last year. It is, of course, a deeply personal victory for George Floyd’s family and friends, so wonderfully captured by the world’s media following the trial.
Arguably, the greater prize is still to be had: the hope that black and brown Americans will be treated the same as white Americans in their encounters with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. This hope may or may not be realized in our lifetimes; but that doesn’t diminish the pursuit of a more virtuous and perfect society which, in Christian terms, we call the long-awaited Kingdom of God.
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (BCP. p.815)
Onward in Hope,