Join us for prayer and lament this Sunday, March 21 at 8:30 AM on Zoom.
As we have witnessed increasing racist attacks against the Asian community, including the horrific murders in Georgia on Tuesday, I want to express my heart both to our Asian community within Epic and our entire Epic community.
To our Asian Community within Epic,
I have been thinking about you, praying for you, and hurting for you. I can only imagine the pain, anger, and fear you are experiencing. I want you to know that we stand with you and we’re here for you. If there are specific ways I can pray for you, please respond to this email and I will do that today. Here are a few things I want to share with you:
God is near you in your pain. Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” God is moved by the pain you are going through, and He wants to comfort you with His deep compassion.
God sees you, even if it feels like no one else does. I’ve read about people in the Asian community feeling completely unseen. If that’s you, I want to encourage you with Hagar’s story. She was mistreated by Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and had to run away to protect herself. In that moment when she felt all alone, God met her. And because of this encounter with God, Hagar said “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). You are seen and you are loved.
To our Entire Epic Community,
We must continue to be a people who see the image of God (Genesis 1:27) in every single person. Because of this, we are an anti-racist church community. Here are a few ways we can stand with our Asian community during this time:
Hurt with those who are hurting. Think about your Asian friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Reach out to them and let them know you see them and you stand with them. Speaking about how we are to live within a community, we read this in 1 Corinthians 12:25-26: “so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” When anyone in our Epic community is hurting, we enter into their suffering with them.
Love in a way that drives out fear. It seems to me that fear has become more paralyzing in this past year than any time I personally can remember. The only remedy for this kind of fear, according to the Scriptures, is a deep God-like love. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” May we become the kind of deeply loving community that drives out fear.
Pray for those who are hurting. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 that we are to “comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” As a church, let us pray for the “God of all comfort” to be with our brothers and sisters who are hurting.
We will also be giving $5,000 on behalf of Epic to Stop AAPI Hate, as they work to report and respond to racism against the AAPI community.
With you and for you,