Chaplain Field Report - Cleveland OH June 5, 2020
The chaplain business has been swift of late. In the past week members of Cleveland EMS and Cleveland Police have been assaulted, as well have safety forces across the country. Major cities are talking about closing their police departments altogether.
That is something that I cannot wrap my brain around, but the all out hatred of Law Enforcement has taken morale to new lows. Just when you thought you'd seen it all.
This past Monday I went downtown to survey the damage from the weekend riots. It was mostly cleaned up. I greeted officers at the checkpoints and had prayers, and words of encouragement for them. Tuesday I spent the afternoon at Cleveland's First District which was the target of a protest, again giving words of prayer and encouragement to the troops. It is gratifying to see the confidence that God gives the ministers of his justice, by the presence of the ministers of his gospel. They are like the Centurion who said to Jesus, "I, too, am a man of authority." To whom the Lord replied, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." (Luke 7:8-9)
This morning I woke up to a page for 5 SWAT officers taken to Metro ER, all variously injured from moderate to severe. My first thought was that they were attacked, but thank God that was not the case! They were on their way to a call out when their van was T-boned at an intersection. People and equipment went flying everywhere within that very confined space.
I was able to visit all five of them and the family members, and fellow officers who were there with them. All were grateful for the presence of God in the person of his minister, and for the divine words and prayers offered.
Tomorrow Cleveland is expecting another protest, this time at the Second District; and as you know there are riots in major cities across the country.
Jesus says: "He that hears you, hears me, he that rejects you rejects me, and he that rejects me rejects the One who sent me." (Luke 10:16)
In similar fashion it is not the police that are the object of people's anger and hatred, but law itself. Order. Restraint. Finally it is rebellion against God himself who established law to be a blessing for all people (even if not always well administered by mere mortals).
For all the trouble we have seen in our lifetimes we have largely lived in an orderly and peaceful society. People were safe walking down the street, or sleeping in their beds at night. Their persons and property (gifts from God) were secure. That is because of law, and those who are willing to work in the vocation of law enforcement. Remove either side of that equation and all hell breaks loose ...
The other thing that most people don't understand, even many Christians, is that the church is a "Royal Priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9) whose work it is to intercede for both the temporal and spiritual well-being of all people. She supplicates the "God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" in Holy Communion with Christ for the good estate of the world and the salvation of all. One of those vital worldly blessings is Peace! (1 Timothy 2:1-5)
When the church, for fear of a virus, took the most drastic action imaginable, closing her doors throughout the world, she abdicated her intercessory role; and this, I assert, is the result. Chaos.
Think about this very carefully, O Church, because there is blood in the water and the sharks are not ready to go home. Do the work of him who sent you while it is day, before the night comes when no man can work. (John 9:4) Let the baptized assemble with Christ their Lord and pray that God's will should be done on earth precisely as it is carried out in heaven. And that Christ who delivered himself into evil for us, would again deliver us from evil.
"Think about these things." (Phil. 4:8)