In the United Methodist Church, our baptismal covenant begins with these words of confession:
On behalf of the whole Church, I ask you:
Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness,
reject the evil powers of this world,
and repent of your sin?
Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you
to resist evil, injustice, and oppression
in whatever forms they present themselves?
Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior,
put your whole trust in his grace,
and promise to serve him as your Lord,
in union with the Church which Christ has opened
to people of all ages, nations, and races?
This morning, white men are getting patted on the back in their churches in Virginia for marching in the name of white supremacy on Friday night and on Saturday.
The last few months in the United States of America, we've learned that the fear of the 'other' ... People of Color ... People of Other Faiths ... WOMEN ... will drive those who fear to do terrible things, to affirm terrible behavior, and dredge up history we'd soon forget.
But we can't forget. We haven't aged-out of the issue of racism, yet. White supremacy is still being taught to our children and youth. Young adults were carrying those tiki torches on Friday night.
Young adults that look a whole lot like this pastor.
Lord, I repent.
Lord, may we repent.
Lord, may we take this opportunity, when the worst humanity can offer is on display, to invite Your very breath to air us out, and call us to fulfill the call to ministry found in our very baptisms by Your Holy Spirit.
Help us to name racism when we see it and not let it go.
For the sake of all creation.