Last Sunday while preaching on the poor I mentioned that the injustice we had seen on the news that week would break the heart of Christ and should break our hearts too. Sunday night we had a live prayer meeting and prayed for First Nations in Canada and for this terrible wound now being exposed again. Sara-Lee grew up in a village with a very high First Nations population. Our hearts are broken for her close friends and for families in our church and community deeply impacted by the ongoing pain of the past and the need for healing and reconciliation. Jesus is the anchor of this hope. Only in him can real forgiveness and healing begin, for all of us. To this end I’ve invited Pastor and former First Nations Chief Bruce Brown to join us for our Canada Day Sunday. His wisdom and words are so important at this time. We love and value our partnerships with Canada First Peoples.
As a movement, CLA is part of a group of churches (The Fellowship of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada) we are all profoundly moved and grieved at the recent discovery of the loss of life for 215 children under the residential school system. As a nation we have all been forced to revisit sins of the past, as though they happened just yesterday. The feelings are raw, emotions run deep, and there are no quick and easy answers.
Words do not come easy (nor should they) and profound proclamations are not needed … but the Spirit’s presence is. And so, in His Spirit, we desire to stand with the Indigenous community in this time of horrific tragedy. And we hurt because humanity hurts.
On May 9, 2012, The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, along with its Aboriginal leadership, nationally expressed a commitment to mutual covenant relationship, recognizing that reconciliatory efforts are not one-time events but ongoing encounters that we must walk together in every day. As 2 Corinthians 5:18 declares, we have all been given the ministry of reconciliation. It is with this commission of ministry in full view that CLA takes a humble stance, posturing ourselves to listen and lament with the broken hearted. To be willing to help bear the burden and journey with those who feel a deep sense of loss.
I encourage our CLA family to take active steps to listen and learn along with others in our community. And with saddened and troubled spirits at this recent discovery of such tragedy, we pray for the Indigenous community today. And we pray for our nation of Canada during this time of reckoning. Full healing and reconciliation can only come when we are first reconciled to God in Christ. Reconciled with God we are able to demonstrate love for God and love for our Indigenous neighbours through the tangible steps of action our Creator leads us to take.