Words For This Day In Charlotte (Leighton Ford)

charlotte protests

Two nights ago I went to a reception at the home of friends. On the way in I paused to speak to a security guard outside. I asked him how his day had been.

“Pretty good, Rev. Ford,” he said. Then, with a warm smile he went on to quote a well-known Scripture verse – but with one line added.

“This is the day the Lord has made

It will not come again

So, let us be glad and rejoice in it.”

At that very moment our city was in turmoil in an outbreak of protests after an African-American man had been shot and killed by a police officer. I didn’t know that, and perhaps that security guard, who was also African-American, didn’t know either.

But those few words he added to that familiar verse from the Psalms really got my attention. For the past two days I haven’t been able to get away from them – “it will not come again.”

 I’ve been asking myself whether that verse is appropriate this day as the protests continue.

 So I looked it up in the Bible – Psalm 118:24. And I realized that it was not a happy day for the Psalmist when he wrote that prayer.  He was speaking at a time of distress. He felt surrounded by enemies swarming like bees. He felt pushed and near to falling. It was not a day for sappy sentiments, but for hard reality. Yet he could say that on that day the Lord helped him.

It was a day like that when he wrote “This is the day the Lord has made …” Again and again in the Psalm, five times, he reminds himself that the Lord’s “steadfast love endures forever.”

It is a reminder to me that in all the turmoil in our city, all the rage in our nation, all the conflicts and terrors in our world God is at work.

This is a day to pray for all who are working for peace and justice. This too is a day of opportunity to show how the Lord’s steadfast love endures. It is a day to witness to that steadfast love, to share it with those we meet.

This day may not come again. But it can become a divine moment for reconciliation.

So let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Leighton Ford

Photo cred: USA Today

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