Black Lives Matter - Thoughts from our Minister Rev. Ian Worrall.

Once again, this rallying slogan is front page news and once again it has been triggered by a senseless and brutal murder of a black man in the USA, George Floyd. Now, I am one of those people who often likes to swim in the opposite direction, when the populous go in one direction, especially if I am told this is what I have to think or say. So when people say ‘Black Lives Matter” I want to say “But ALL Lives Matter” and of course that is right, except right now, that would be wrong and I realise that now. Because this is not about ALL lives, but BLACK lives and black people have suffered appalling discrimination from white people over many centuries.
Growing up in South London I was only ever stopped by the police and searched once, but my black friends were stopped dozens of times. Whenever we went out together I would witness first hand some of the verbal abuse they suffered and just plain nastiness, all because of the colour of their skin. But the point is - that was over 40 years ago and it seems nothing has changed!!
So when are we going to change!! Aaah! That dreaded word again…Change!
It seems most of us are pretty resistant to change, unless of course it suits us!! Whether it be lockdown, church music or new thinking! When we move onto whole institutions the resistance to change can be enormous. And a whole nation even more than that!!
Things will only change if enough people demand change or revival breaks out across our nation and this world, because then God’s love will change us. Now, as you know, we pray for revival everyday, but we can also add our voice to “Black Lives Matter’ simply because we want to add to the momentum for lasting change.
Is ‘BLM’ the right movement for a church to support? It is not perfect, but it has momentum for the change that is needed.
Hasn’t there been riots is USA and criminal damage here? Yes and it is wrong! But I am not surprised that sometimes frustration boils over, after so much injustice. Mostly ‘BLM’ is characterised by amazing grace and for good reason, because so many have incredible faith and dignity. Besides, I am not going let distractions excuse me into keeping silent over such an important matter, because I am sure we all could find many excuses, if we wanted to!
Is this really an issue for Grantham and HLMC? Which often translates, it isn’t a problem because there aren’t many black faces in Grantham. Well that is changing, but I am not sure Grantham’s attitudes have!!
Besides - this is Gospel and Kingdom business! And that is what we are about, isn’t it!
When we think about how Jesus blew the minds of his disciples when he chatted with that Samaritan women or made a Samaritan and a Roman centurion heroes of the faith!! We know that Jesus wanted us to think differently and without pre-judgement!
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 New International Version (NIV)
Note: The Methodist Church ‘believes that racism is a denial of the Gospel’ - standing orders, SO 013B
Every blessing Ian