Pushing in on Jesus

The Rt. Rev. Craig Loya

Pushing in on Jesus

Beloved in Christ,

With the trial of the three white men who killed Ahmaud Arbery, a 25 year old Black jogger, beginning in Georgia this week, I am reminded again of the countless names of victims of racial violence we have learned over the years, and of the innumerable names we do not know. Holding those names, and the webs of pain that each of those violations caused, leaves me feeling helpless, and turns me once again toward the healing love of Jesus.

As I shared several weeks ago at the BISHOPx Forum, George Floyd's death in the week before my consecration as your Bishop was a humbling wake up call as I sought to take on this new responsibility. It quickly became clear to me that the work of racial justice and healing would need to be a core part of my ministry, and it was just as clear to me that I was not in any way prepared for it.

In the months that followed, I learned that my helplessness is exactly the right posture from which to approach this work. If I am to be of any use in God’s economy, it is only to the extent to which I am willing to let go of my faith in my own powers, gifts, and abilities and learn how to rely again solely on the power of God.

I learned, from great teachers like Heidi Kim, Dr. Catherine Meeks, and many of you, that for disciples of Jesus, racial healing is not an additional social justice issue that we engage as a side project. The work of racial healing is a core part of what it means to follow the way of Jesus. The work of racial healing is about a softening, an opening, a willingness to be changed by our encounter with another. Racial justice requires all of us, all of us, to be like the crowds pushing in on Jesus, longing for the healing that only Jesus can bring.

If you are ready to cry out to Jesus, to lean on Jesus, to push in with the crowds on Jesus, then I invite you to consider applying for the Racial Justice and Healing Formation Team. You can learn more about it and apply below.

As the trial gets underway in Georgia, may God bring comfort to those hurting, justice to those who cry out for it, and mercy to those lost in the fog of racial hatred.

Grace and Peace,

The Right Reverend Craig Loya
X Bishop
Episcopal Church in Minnesota