I want to write about George Floyd, because hearing about him on Twitter really got to me. Police say he was a forgery suspect – not a crime that carries the death penalty, yet George (a black man) was arrested and pinned to the ground by a white officer, heard to say he couldn’t breathe before he lost consciousness and subsequently died. I’m white myself, but I think this sort of behaviour is a disgrace. I had a similar feeling when I went to the apartheid museum in Cape Town and saw a bench labelled: “For Europeans only”. I’m deeply ashamed. It actually prompted me to listen to Martin Luther King Jr. who had a dream that his children would be judged not by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character. He had that dream in 1963 and at times like this, it seems no closer to coming to fruition.
Surely we don’t have to sit back and feel powerless. There must be something we can do to make a difference, which doesn’t have to involve taking to the streets or damaging property. As Christians, we can spur one another on towards love and good deeds, and we can pray the famous words of Jesus: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. What’s that like – God’s kingdom coming? At the moment, God’s kingdom is ruled by Jesus Christ. We only have to examine His life on earth to see what God’s kingdom looks like: Blind eyes opened; diseases cured; the greatest of its subjects glad to serve; right living; peace; joy; love for God and others. As the church, Jesus is our Head and we’re His body – members of God’s family. Paul said a message of reconciliation had been committed to him (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). He implored people to be reconciled to God because in the end, that’s what God wants: For everyone to be in His family, so they too can have the blessings of His kingdom. “God is being patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be lost. He wants everyone to change their ways and stop sinning” (2 Peter 3:9).
All the positive qualities we see in Jesus, we can pray for ourselves: Not just one day when we get to heaven, but on earth as it is in heaven. Eventually every one of Jesus’ enemies will be destroyed, even death. After this, God will take overall charge (1 Corinthians 15:22-28), and He’ll live with His people in the new heaven and the new earth. What an amazing place that will be. Can you imagine walking around in complete safety? Everyone eager to help each other? Nothing corrupt or impure even allowed through the door? No such thing as white supremacy. Martin Luther King’s dream realised: Little black boys and little black girls joining hands with little white boys and little white girls, as he put it. Makes me want to be there, seeing it all play out, and when I pray: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, that’s what I’m praying for.