One week has past since Rev. Clementa Pinckney and eight church members at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC were killed in a massacre in a Wednesday night prayer meeting. Thank God, the 21-year-old confessed gunman who committed this heinous act was apprehended quickly. While this nation feels the pain, hurt, and sorrow of this senseless trajedy, we have seen so much hope across this nation as churches have held prayer vigils and rallies in solidarity against racism and for justice and the right of all people, regardless of color, to be treated equally. And on Monday, South Carolina Governor Haley held a press conference to say that it is time for the Confederate flag, a symbol of hatred and division, to come down from the South Carolina state capitol. Walmart, Sears, and Kmart announced they would ceasing selling merchandise containing the Confedrate flag. It is an important first step toward healing. I tell you prayer changes things! Prayer changes things!
It has been inspiring to see the overwhelming outpouring of love and support, the unity of people of various ethnicities connected by faith in almighty God, and to see the thousands rallying peacefully in the streets. It is clear there is much discussion to be had around race and race relations. We ought, as Dr. King said, judge people not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Sadly, we still have work to do in realizing Dr. King's dream. The church must renew her commitment to saving souls, preaching and teaching righteousness and living virtuously, filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit. She must lead the discussion on racial matters as well.
As the three men and six women are eulogized this week, I am trusting God that the Charleston nine, the Mother Emanuel nine, good God-fearing people did not die in vain. May they rest in peace in the arms of Jesus. Jesus saves!