Scripture Reading:

Romans 12:17-21

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:21

It began as a peaceful march to protest the brutal killing of George Floyd. But as the darkness deepened, it became a dark night of riotous behavior. Images of angry people smashing store fronts, of police cars ablaze, and of businesses going up in flames brought me to my knees in earnest prayer and disturbed my anxious sleep. What I saw was bad, frightening, evil.

In the morning I checked the news. The rioters were gone, but they had left a disturbing mess: smashed windows, burned cars, vile graffiti, sad ruins in the heart of the city.

A reporter surveying the damage approached a young mother with two children. He asked, “Why are you here this morning?” She said, “We saw the news; we decided that this city needs someone to show the love of God.”

Others were there too—sweeping up the glass shards, trying to restore order to chaos. The mom and her children, who were about 5 and 7 years old, were there with brushes and soap, trying to erase stubborn graffiti. They brought some light into the darkness, some of God’s love into a broken place where the evidence of evil was very real.

In that mother and her little ones, I saw the presence of Jesus. She and her children were being the church, Christ’s body—overcoming evil by doing good. As I watched, warm and grateful tears welled up from within me in a prayer of thanks to God.

Lord, give us the faith, courage, and strength to overcome evil by doing good in our broken world. Amen.

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