A message from Joel (Reach's Youth Pastor)
I know there is a lot going on in our city and nation right now. There is much to process with the protests and riots taking place and it can be frightening and confusing. How should we be responding as Christians?

First off, injustice in any form and to anyone is wrong. All people should be treated fairly and with equality. We are all equally valuable as human beings, made in the image of God. Our race, gender, age, physical characteristics, actions, or place in society does not determine our value. All people deserve equal justice and respect.

Secondly, there is a godly way and a wrong way of responding to injustice. Romans 12:21 says, "Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good." We should not respond with violence or hate against our neighbors, but with kindness and peace (Romans 12:18). What good does it do to repay evil for evil? We are called to respond to evil with goodness (1 Peter 3:9) and stop the spread of violence and hate.

And lastly, our role in this national situation should be to remain faithful and obedient to God, conquering this evil with the goodness He has shown to us. We need to use good discernment in our responses to situations or social media posts and continue to care for those around us. Treating others with dignity and respect is not a suggestion, but a command (Mark 12:31). People should not have to earn our respect or demonstrate their worth. Each person should be treated in the same way Jesus treated those who hung Him on the cross (Luke 23:34), with equal compassion and love. Our goal should be to equally show the power of the love of God so those who are without God can find Him and believe.

Please join me in praying for our nation, communities, and neighbors. Many people are personally affected by these events, living in mourning, in fear, or both, and need the encouragement and hope that is only found in Jesus.