American Tragedy

As I was writing my blog this evening, the news about our own city came across the TV. Our hearts go out to the officers who have died, their families, and those who have been wounded. Police serve to preserve order and protect us all, and in so doing they are daily exposed to danger; this resulted in tragedy this evening. We need to be praying for all those harmed, indeed for all those in public service, especially the police. We intercede for the rapid apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators.

In this season in our national life, everything becomes a political football, though we hope that this does not happen here. In recent days we have been disturbed once again to hear of the shootings of African American men in different parts of our country.   These concerns offer no warrant for murder, nor should we associate the latter with legitimate and peaceful demonstration. Threatening public peace and order endangers all of us as citizens, and we stand with those who work to keep us safe.

I have no easy answer to the crisis in which we find ourselves as Americans. But this much is clear: Dallas Christians, black and white, of all denominations, are called to stand together. As one we pray for those harmed. We who do so are already one body in Jesus Christ, in spite of all the fault lines in our society.   May the Holy Spirit guide us all in discerning the shape of our common witness. May we all be praying for the welfare of our city and all its inhabitants. May He protect all exposed to danger in their work.


The sad news of the death of Bishop Ed Salmon of South Carolina and more recently of Nashotah invoked in me a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for having known him. He was an eagle among Church leaders, the kind that younger priests (as I was at the time ) naturally saw as an example.  His heart for evangelism, his wit, and a palpable sense of joy pervaded his ministry. He now stands before the Lamb and in a greater light.

For the purposes of this blog I want to hold Bishop Ed up as a defender of honoring the Ninth Commandment.  He was an advocate of directness, candor, honesty, and an opponent of all forms of gossip and rumor - mongering. The New Testament took this very seriously. Bishop Ed once visited Wycliffe College (where I made the mistake of calling him the 'interim dean'!). He told how, whenever he heard a rumor he required the bearer to write it on the blackboard in the refectory, with his or her name, with the person from whom he or she heard it next called to add their name, etc. It was the death knell of gossip in his seminary. Only someone like Bishop Ed could get away with that.  Still we would do well to emulate as we are able.

That quotation about seeing further if you stand on the shoulders of giants also comes to mind....and may almighty God be glorified in His saints.