Laquan McDonald

Our city is struggling today and we as a church body are mourning. We mourn for the family of Laquan McDonald and that those closest to him were forced to publicly relive the horrific events that occurred over a year ago. We mourn that we live in a world, with broken people and broken systems. A world that requires a video to be brought to light before justice is served. We mourn because the imago dei (the image of God) in this young man and countless others like him has been disregarded.

What does the Lord require of us? Micah 6:8 makes this clear: "do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our Lord." Christ sets the perfect example of this and, as Christ followers, we seek the welfare of our great city and to live out what Jesus lived out in Luke 4 as he quoted Isaiah, “…He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Our hope is that in doing what Christ did our city will be a better place.

In order to live out our faith, we are called to speak the truth in love, even to those in power. It took 400 days - - way too long - - to release the details of Laquan's death and to hold the alleged wrongdoer accountable. Sometimes our faith requires us to participate in change. This may involve more engagement to help in establishing systems, procedures, and people in place in our city that can promote and realize justice for all.

We want to be clear as well that we celebrate our law enforcement officers who every day truly do seek to serve and protect the welfare of our city. They are joined with us in helping to make Chicago a ‘good city.’ Yet, when those who have violated the public’s trust in such a pronounced fashion, our faith calls us to seek justice.

To our African American brothers and sisters who are hurting right now, we’re here to listen to you. We don’t need to speak. Let us all cry, grieve and lament, and in Christ, hope together. Yes, let us remember that we don’t grieve as those who have no hope. We grieve as those who await our great King who will make everything right -- who will bring perfect justice and will wipe away every tear from our eyes.

That same King who is also God’s suffering servant, He identifies with us in our pain, He identifies with us in our sorrow, and He is the same God who took the suffering and ugliness of the cross and turned it into something beautiful at the resurrection.

In light of the hope of the Gospel, please join us in prayer, in mourning, in speaking the truth in love and in seeking justice. Act to change broken systems, however God leads you through prayer, using your position of influence, march, vote, live out Micah 6:8.

Park Elders