The headline in yesterday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch declared September the “Deadliest Month in Richmond Since ’07.” The photo at right shows the Rev. Anthony Bagby standing in front of the home (right) in South Richmond where his cousin was a victim of homicide.
It’s discouraging, isn’t it? Here we are, trying to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia, and instead of going down the murder rate goes up. It makes me think someone is working just as hard as we are–maybe even harder–to establish another kingdom. But what do we do? Give up? Throw our hands in the air? Walk away?
I don’t think so.
Last month I went down to police headquarters for a faith leaders’ summit where we talked about what the churches can do to help keep peace in the city. This month I plan to go again, at 3:00 on Tuesday, October 9. Maybe some of the other leaders at FBC will go with me, so we can reassure the police of our partnership.
In the meantime we can pray for the peace of Richmond, and as I said in Sunday’s sermon, praying really is something we can “do.” Maybe you could do it right now, as you near the end of this post. Maybe you could just say, “Lord, bring an end to the violence in Richmond. Don’t let there be one more killing. Help people find a peaceful way to end their disputes and, as St. Francis prayed, ‘let me be an instrument of your peace. Amen.”
Sometimes heaven seems a long way away. Today let’s pray it a little bit closer.