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Monday, May 31, 2021 1:33 PM

A Refusal To Let Go -- June 1, 2021

Monday, May 31, 2021 1:33 PM
Monday, May 31, 2021 1:33 PM

Psalm 137:1-9

Today we are marking the 100-year anniversary of the worst racial massacre in American history. On May 31 and June 1,1901, a white mob descended on a prosperous African-American community in Tulsa, OK, and killed hundreds of innocent people and destroyed black-owned businesses and homes.

The only structure that survived was the basement of the Vernon AME Church that had just been built two years earlier. On June 2nd, a group of survivors met in the basement to pray and pick up the pieces of their lives.

The Bible is filled with stories of hardship and how a people’s faith was their sole sustaining possession. Israel was overthrown by its enemies, Jerusalem burned, homes destroyed, places of worship torn down.

Many of the people were even shipped into exile and forced to live in a strange land. Their captors knew about the stories of their faith and the music they sang as a result of their faith. Thus, their captors mocked them and told them to use their faith to entertain them, sing to them one of the songs of Zion.

The exiles did not stoop to using personal faith as a means of entertaining others. How could they sing the Lord’s songs in a strange land? There were things that not even captivity could force them to do.

They would not sing but they would remember. They would remember Jerusalem and the places that taught them faith in God. They would remember that God is the ultimate equalizer in life. Just because they were in exile did not mean that a day wouldn’t come when they would return home.

Human power is always fragile and the ground under us is always shifting. Those who are captors one day may find themselves held hostage on another day.

The exiles refused to let their faith die and chose to remember--to remember God.

As we remember all that was lost 100 years ago today, may we also remember God. When we remember Him, we find the power to press on and bear witness to a faith that refuses to die.

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