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Justice Can Be Measured

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April 7, 2002
Rev. Damon Lynch III, Senior Pastor
New Prospect Baptist Church
Cincinnati, Ohio
Copyright 2002 Rev. Damon Lynch III

Justice Can Be Measured

Stand and see God's face. There is so much to be thankful for. Thank you Lord. You ought to be able to say thank you. In the midst of the trials and tribulations, you still ought to say thank you. You brought me out. You brought me out. I just want to thank you Lord. You've been so good. That ought to be someone's testimony - you been so good. I just want to thank you... Lord.

(Opening Prayer) Every head bowed. Precious God, we come to you this morning in the name of your precious son Jesus. Father God we come to you as empty vessels, We come as children before a loving father. Father God we just come in saying thank you, We come in and thank you for this morning's early rise, We thank you for last night's lying down, We thank you for food, clothing, and shelter, We thank you for loved ones and family, and friends. And God, we even thank you for the trials and tribulations. Because God, through it all you keep proving you are God and God all by yourself. We thank for our ups as well as our downs; our going in and coming out.

Dear God,

We thank you for life and love. We thank you most of all for Jesus. We thank you for a company keeper, a prayer, and a lover. We thank you that he died on Calvary that we might have life. Father God, we've got so much to be thankful for, We might not have all we think we ought to have, but we have to say thank you. We may not be driving like we want to drive but we have to say thank you. We may not living like we want to live but we still say thank you, We may not be eating the best of foods but we got food on our tables but we still say thank you, We may not be wearing the finest clothes but we've got something on our backs and for that we say thank you, We may not be making a whole lot of money but we have a dime in our pocket. Lord, you are taking care of us... we've just got to say thank you, We've got eyes to see with, legs to walk with and a voice to talk with... Lord, we've just got to say thank you, Glory to God. Lord, we don't think you brought us this far to leave us, You brought us from a mighty long way through dangers seen and unseen... Lord, you've watched over us... and we believe you will carry us on.

Bless us God:
We still believe today that you're a healer,
We still believe you are a company keeper,
We still believe you are a guide,
We still believe you can touch us right now.

God:
You can fix marriages,
You can fix relationships,
You can bring children back home,
You can fix problems,
You're a problem solver,
You're a heart fixer and a mind regulator.

We stand here today because you are God:
We worship you,
We magnify you,
We glorify you,
We trust you,
We love you.

Father God, you know what's needed right now:
Inside of this house,
Outside of this house...

You know:
You know how to change heart.
You know how to fix a city.
You know how to fix a nation.
You know.

We wrap our arms around you:
We hold you,
We worship at your feet,
We lift our hands unto you,
We praise you.

Father God, we ask forgiveness of our sins:
We've all done some things we're not proud of,
All of us have been some places you told us we ought not to go.

But God, the good news is you're a forgiver:
You said if we called on you to confess our sins,
You are faithful and just to forgive us...
How many times?
As many times as we ask.

Today, we stand under the power of the Holy Ghost, and in the name of Jesus calling on God.

Father God, we await your return,
We believe you're coming back again,

We believe
You're going to restore,
You're going to fix,
You're going to change,

We know you're coming back again.

We pray this today in Jesus' name and for his precious sake.

Let every heart say amen -- amen -- and amen

Find someone to love this morning.
Find someone to hug.
Share some love.
So much to be thankful for.

Choir: Praise Him, Praise Him.

Amen.

It is the first Sunday in April 2002.

Last year, this time, our city was thrown into turmoil.

Last year, at this time, 2001 there was a young man shot in an alley in Over the Rhine. And we all know the reverberations that happened after that incident... when Timothy Thomas was shot.

It is now one year later. And we look to see what God has done.
Because what we have to always do is to keep God in it.
Because if God in not present, if God is not in it, then we are all men and women most miserable.
And we seek to see what God has been doing in the last year.

We still pray for the families:
We still pray for Ms. Leisure, whom we will be with in a few hours,
We pray for the family of the officer and the officer himself,
We pray for all the others who found themselves --like you and I -- caught up in circumstances beyond our control.

But we believe there is a God and God is still in charge. The good thing about God is that he never relinquishes his authority.

I don't care who you are.
How big you are...
What title or position you have...
God never relinquishes his authority.

And while it sometimes looks like God has hidden his face...
He cannot be found...
He says: "If you call on me. If you seek me..." He will be there.

So, I want to share -- because for a year now we've been talking about healing the city. And we've been talking about this idea of healing -- I, I want to share from the word of God some principles I think can get us further down the road of healing the city of Cincinnati.

The text this morning is found in the book of Micah. Micah is an Old Testament minor prophet. I say that say you might have a hard time finding it. (laughter) So I want you to find the Major Prophets: you know Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and, Daniel. After Daniel, you'll find Hosea, Joel; you ought to find Amos and Obadiah, Jonah and then Micah. Micah comes after Jonah and before Nahum. Old Testament Minor Prophet. When you find Micah; find chapter six. When you find chapter six; find verse eight. Actually, when you find chapter six, let's start with verse six... we'll read to verse eight.

Micah six and six. Stand with me if you have it.

The Word of the Lord says:

"Wherewith shall I come before the Lord. And bow myself before the High God. Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings? With calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with a thousand rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give of my first born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed thee; he has showed thee old man what is good. And what doeth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."

Again, verse eight says:

"He has showed thee; he has showed thee old man what is good. And what doeth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."

May God bless His Word. You may be seated.

This morning, I preach from the subject of prerequisites for healing the city... prerequisites for healing the city.

The other day, I was challenged by a writer for the New Yorker Magazine on this idea of justice. For those of us who leave here in a few hours and march to Fountain Square for a second march for justice, I'm sure somewhere along the line today you will hear people cry out: "No Justice, No Peace." I'm sure you're going to hear somebody say: "What do we want?" Someone's going to holler back: "Justice!" And "When do we want it?" "We want it now!" And... and we've been hearing that for a year.

And the writer for the New Yorker said: "Well, what does that mean?" He said: "We'll never obtain justice. I mean -- justice is a nebulous term. Justice is not something you can have and know you have it."

I challenged him on that and said: "If that's true, then we are in trouble.

(Justice Can Be Measured; Pinpointed)

If there is no way to measure justice, then we ought to close the court house down. Because if men and women cannot walk into the courts of our nation and believe they can walk out with justice, then we ought to just close it down.

If justice is just some nebulous term, just something out there that we cannot pinpoint, then all of us are in trouble.

Not only that. If justice is nebulous,
Then our faith is in trouble...
Our whole belief system is in trouble.

You see... we believe we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
And if there is no justice, then God will have no way of determining which way we go.
And if there is no justice, then God is not just.
I don't know about you but I have to believe that I have a God who is just! And so, I don't think that justice is a nebulous term.

I think clearly that justice can be pinpointed; that you and I can know when justice has been acquired.
I think justice can be pinpointed.

When people say that if the city has promised 208 million dollars to nine poor neighborhoods and has not put in a dime of the promised 208 million dollars, then we clearly say that is unjust.

So, if you want to point to justice, justice says when you fulfill your promises, and then we will say that is just.
I don't think that that's hard to pinpoint justice.
So when people cry out today: "We want justice! And when do we want it? We want it, now..."
I don't think it's that hard to pinpoint justice.

But you know what? In order for healing and what I like about the prophet in the text -- in the Words of God -- that justice is not the only word in the text. He says: "What does God require of us?" And it is to "do justly. And not only to do justly but it is to love mercy and then walk humbly before God.

What God is able to do -- because He is just -- is measure and temper His justice with His mercy.

Those who cry out for justice must be careful because the same justice we mete out will be meted unto us.

I don't really cry out to God a whole lot for justice. Maybe I should but I really don't. What I do cry out a whole lot for is... mercy.

You see, by right, if God had given me all the justice I deserved, I would not be standing here right now.

Maybe it's just me. But I have to be honest,
I've done some stuff.
I've been some "places."
And I know God wasn't pleased.
And if all I had gotten was justice, I would not be here right now. I thank God that I got His justice tempered with His mercy.
And I try to grow and learn that the same things I want given unto me, I need to be prepared to give to somebody else. So, we have to do justly and we have to love mercy. Justice and mercy go hand in hand.

Somebody said that justice without mercy is tyranny... justice without mercy is tyranny. And mercy without justice is sentimentality. They have to go hand in hand; God puts them together.

And everybody in here ought to be thankful that, that's how God has dealt with you. There's not one of us in here that is worthy to be sitting here today. Based upon all that we have done against God, there's not a one of us... but God is so merciful. And again, they go hand in hand and so that means you don't take His mercy for granted and think He is not just.

There is a time; there does come a time when God performs His justice and we have to pay for what we've done. But none of us has paid the price for all that we've done.

Matter of fact, his mercy is most evident on the cross, where Jesus died for your sins to pay for what you have done.

So, we put together the justice and the mercy that God calls for. And when we do that, we can move toward healing the city.

The calls today will be for justice. The calls for the last year have been for justice. When I speak this evening down at the rally, one of the things I will remind all of us is that justice is not an event. This is called The March for Justice, but justice is not an event. Justice is a lifelong struggle. It does not culminate in one Sunday on Fountain Square, it began long ago, and it will not finish, it continues as long as we live. It is a lifelong struggle -- this fight for justice.

The question, as we talk about healing the city, is what kind of justice are we looking for? What kind of justice are we looking for?

I contend there are at least two kinds of justice. One is retributive justice. That is the kind of justice that says: "We want punishment for those who have done wrong. We want retribution and we want to be punitive." There's that kind of justice but the other kind is called restorative justice. That kind says: "We want to build the bridges, we want to fix the breaches, we want to restore people to rightful relationships. Now, if we talk about healing a city... which kind of justice brings healing and which kind keeps us in an antagonistic and adversarial position?

It's all right to get quiet... because you're not going to like this. This is going to take you a little higher than we've been thinking.

(Restorative Justice)

What kind of justice brings healing and restoration? Is it restorative justice, or retributive justice? There're two kinds. Restorative justice is the traditional African jurisprudence. In Africa, it is called the spirit of "ubuntu."

The idea of restorative justice is the idea of healing the breach. It is not so much concerned with who did wrong and how we punish the wrongful doer... it's concerned with, "How do we restore the community?" Because nine times out of ten, the person who did us wrong is still in out midst; and we have to live with them as long as we are all living. So, it's: "How do we restore this relationship, how do we fix and rehabilitate the victim and the perpetrator?"

Let me say that again. "How do we rehabilitate the victim and the perpetrator?" If we're going to have to live together anyway, how do we restore our community?

Restorative justice is not just something we need to talk about as it relates to us and them; we need to talk about it as it just relates to the "us." I am talking about "us" as an African-American community and how we relate to one another. We have to live together. We have to learn how to be restorative in our justice.

For those of you who have ever read some Shakespeare, one of my favorite stories is the Merchant of Venice. In the Merchant of Venice, a guy named Shylock is demanding from somebody a pound of flesh. He has been done wrong and he wants what comes and belongs to him. And his demand for fixing the situation is a pound of flesh.
I want it and I want it now. What do I want? I want justice. And when do I want it? I want it now.

And they went before a magistrate, a conciliator, a judge. And he said:
"Are you sure that is what you want? Isn't there another way to work this out so everybody can get along fine?
He said:
"No, I want my pound of flesh."
He wanted to take a pound of flesh from the person. And the judge, almost like Solomon, said:
"Well, I'll tell you what, if that's what you want, and by rights you deserve it, and by rights you should have it. But I tell you what, as you take your pound of flesh, if one drop of blood comes from this person's body, then I will hold you accountable for the blood. Because you asked for a pound of flesh, you get the flesh but no blood."

Shylock thought: "is there any way I can get my pound of flesh and not shed blood and then have to shed my blood in return?" And the answer was, "No." So, then he said: "All right, so I'll take the next option." "I've rethought it, I've rethought it."

What we have to be careful of is: "Is there any way that we can call and fight for our justice and not make things worse in the process?"
Is there any way to heal the breaches... to heal the community?
One way to do that is the process of restorative justice.

Restorative justice is that thing that works for healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

It takes big people to work on a process of healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation. It is much easier to sit in adversarial camps than it is to work on a process of healing, reconciliation, and restoration. Because that means you have to drop your ego. It means you're going to have to meet someone halfway.

Why hasn't our city healed?

Because we haven't done that. We haven't done that.
I don't care what you've say we've done.
We've passed Issue Five. We did that.
But none of that heals a city.
Nobody has moved to the middle.
Everybody is in their camp.

For those of you in this city listening to talk radio. You know it's some of the craziest stuff in the world. It is totally nuts -- black and white. Black talk radio, white talk radio, and all the talk does is pit us against each other.

The other day, I read the Enquirer. They were doing a nice little article:
Cincinnati CAN is down at Fountain Square and everybody is hugging and holding hands.
And then at the bottom of the article, my name shows up?
I wasn't there...
I'm kicked off of CAN.

But a nice article and then you get to the last sentence and somebody is dogging me. It's by design by those who don't want to see things come together. So, we have to have either restorative justice or punitive justice. I contend that if you get stuck in punitive justice,
You are calling for a measure of justice that you don't want on yourself.
You're calling for something to happen that when the shoe is on the other foot, you don't want it to happen to you.

There is a way to restore and still have justice -- to restore the victim and the perpetrator. Restorative justice is a means toward healing.

(Amnesty)

The second key to restoring is the granting of amnesty. You can't heal without amnesty.

I want to read to you a letter out of a book by Desmond Tutu called "No Future Without Forgiveness." The letter is written by a white South African woman, who writes it to those working on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa.

All of us know about South Africa -- its years of apartheid. We all know that South Africa has moved forward, tried to move forward. What most of you don't know is that South Africa figured out that in order to heal, in order to move forward part of the major process of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was the granting of amnesty. They figured out that without amnesty, there could be no healing.

So, let me read you the letter, this letter written by this white South African woman.

She says:

"My story begins in my late teenage years, as a farm girl in the Bethlehem District of the Eastern Free State. As an 18 year-old, I met a young man in his twenties. He was working in a top security structure. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. We even spoke about marriage. A bubbly vivacious man who beamed out wild energy -- sharply intelligent. Even if he was an Englishman, he was popular with the Boers. All of my girlfriends envied me. Then one day, he said he was going on a "trip." We won't see each other again -- maybe never ever again. I was torn to pieces; so was he. An extremely short marriage to someone else failed because I married to forget. More than a year ago, I met my first love again through a good friend. I was to learn for the first time that he had been operating overseas and he was going to ask for amnesty. I can't explain the pain and bitterness in me when I saw what was left of that beautiful and strong person. He had only one desire; that the truth must come out. Amnesty didn't matter. It was only a means to the truth. A need to clean up. He was gruesomely plucked out of our lives at the beginning of the year. Was that the price he had to pay for what he believed in?

After my unsuccessful marriage, I met another policeman -- not quite my first love but an exceptional person -- very special. Once again a bubbly, charming personality, humorous, grumpy -- everything in its time and place. Then he said he and three of our friends had been promoted to a removal special unit -- "Now, now my darling, we are real policemen now. We were ecstatic. We even celebrated. He and his friends would visit regularly. They even stayed over for long periods. Suddenly, at strange times they would become restless; abruptly mutter the feared word "trip" and drive off.

As a loved one, I knew no other life than that of worry, of sleeplessness, anxiety over his safety, and where they could be. We simply had to be satisfied with: "What you don't know can't hurt you." And all that we as a loved one knew was what we saw with our eyes. After about three years with the Special Forces, our hell began. He began to be very quiet, withdrawn; sometimes he would press his face into his hands and shake uncontrollably. I realize he was drinking too much. Instead of resting at night, he would wander from window to window. He tried to hide his wild, consuming fear, but I saw it. In the early hours of the morning between the two and the half past two, I jolted awake from a rushing grip; rolling this way and this side of the bed; he is pale and ice cold on a sweltering night; sopping wet with sweat; eyes bewildered but dull like the dead. And he shakes. The terrible convulsions and blood curdling shrieks of fear and pain from the bottom of his soul. Sometimes he would sit motionless, just staring in front of him. I never understood, I never knew. I never realized what was being shoved down his throat on the "trips." I just went through the hell; praying: "God, what's happening, what's wrong with him? Could he have changed so much? Is he going mad? I can't handle the man anymore but I can't get out. It's going to haunt me the rest of my life if I leave him; Why God?"

Then she says:
"Today, I know all the answers to my questions and heartaches. I know where everything began. The background, the roles of those at the top, the cliques, and our men simply had to carry out the orders like vultures. And today, they all wash their hands in innocence and resist the realities of the Truth Commission. Yes, I stand by my murderer, who let me and the old white South Africa sleep peacefully, warmly while those at the top were again targeting the next permanent removal from society for the vultures. I finally understand what the struggle was really about. I would have done the same had I been denied everything. If my life, that of my children and parents were strangled with legislation. If I had to watch how white people became dissatisfied with the best and still wanted better -- and got it. I envy and respect the people of the struggle; at least their leaders have the guts to stand by their vultures to recognize their sacrifices."

I stop there; she goes on. She says: "I envy and respect the people of the struggle; at least their leaders have the guts to stand by their vultures to recognize their sacrifices."

Let me say there will be no healing, if there is not amnesty granted to those in our struggle who made the sacrifices, so that we could have all the things we claim now are good things.

How can you have healing?
How can you just move forward when young men and women were locked up, given records for going out and rebelling against an unjust system?
And we just move forward and say all is made whole.
It is not made whole.

Let me break it down even more.

Someone said the Justice Department has come in.

They would not have come in, had there not been an April 9th through 11th.
They didn't call the Justice Department in when Roger Owensby was choked to death. There was no Justice Department.
They would've not have called them when Timothy Thomas was shot.
It was April 9th through 11th that brought that brought the Justice Department.
And how can you now turn your back on those who hit the streets while we stayed in our houses.

Somebody says:
Well now there's a Cincinnati CAN; a Mayor's commission; they're doing all this great work.

There would not be a Cincinnati CAN if there had not been an April 9th through 11th.
Well now there's the great racial profiling settlement that you, Reverend, worked on yourself.
Understand -- there would not be a settlement had there not been a law suit.
Everything you now see came because of pressure that was put on the system.

You can't have healing when people have not been made whole. South Africa actually took it to a higher level than even I am talking about. They offered amnesty to everybody; to the victims and the perpetrators because they understood there is no moving forward in healing if people are not restored.
How can you have healing if there is no granting of amnesty?
No expungement of records, then, there is no healing.
Because there will be people who have paid a price; and you and I will have just walked away from them.

What the woman said in the letter was, "I at least envied the fact they did not walk away from those in their struggle."

You ever notice how the pictures never change? The pictures never change.

I mean whether it's pictures of South Africa where young black men and women are running through the streets and the cops are running behind them hitting them with sticks.

The pictures never change.
If it's Montgomery, Alabama, where black men and women are being brutalized; the pictures don't change.
If it's Miami, Florida, where they're being beaten and brutalized,
If it's Rodney King,
If it's New York,
If it's Cincinnati,
If it's Tiananmen Square, where power is always trying to crush people,

The pictures never change.

So, we all want healing. But you can't heal, if you leave those who marched and made this stuff possible. Don't let them fool you:
There is no Cincinnati CAN without rebellion.
There is racial profiling class settlement without rebellion.
There is no Justice Department recommendation without rebellion.

All these things we want to call progress. You cannot rest in progress and experience, live, love progress, and leave those behind with records and jail time who fought that you might get progress. If you want to heal, amnesty is part of the healing process. It's part of the healing process.

(Reparations)


And then, the third thing -- and this is the other thing they did in South Africa and are doing -- that is important to healing is reparations. It's reparations.

Reparations is the process that is crucial to reconciliation. Without reparations and rehabilitation, there is no healing; and there is no justice.

So, for those who have been aggrieved,
Those who have things taken from them,
Those who have lost loved ones there have to be reparations,
There has to be some kind of payment made to make people whole.

It doesn't necessarily have to be individual reparations. But there are things as a society, as a nation that are needed to make all of us whole:
Reparations are essential to balance the call for amnesty of both victims and the perpetrators.
Reparations talks about the need for there to be more places of treatment for people dealing with drugs.
Reparations talks about there needs to be more housing for low income people.

Reparations talks about adequate medical care.
It talks about proper schools.
It talks about the things that are needed, if we are to live and strive, and thrive in this society.

So, unless we are talking about those things, we're not talking about healing; we're talking about status quo.

You see, some people are talking about healing but what they really mean is status quo. They call for healing but what they really mean is:

"Let's get back to the way things were." Well, where things were, wasn't right. We're not trying to go back to where things were.

They want to heal without medicine.
They want to heal without a balm.
They want to heal without a salve.

There's a wound and you have to put something on it, if you want it to heal.

So, God says, we ought to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before our God.

You know it's interesting... a lot of the Christian folks out there... they're challenging. I get letters every day. I get challenged every day: "Why don't you just pray? You're a preacher, you ought to just be praying." I get challenged.

Somebody -- an "un-named prophet" -- wrote me a letter the other day. And I don't know many un-named prophets. I mean, if you're a prophet, for God's sake, stand up and write your name. He wrote: "God told me to write you a letter... that you are not leading as a Christian person ought to. You should just be praying."

Let me just say to all folks who think like that:
The Bible I read has more in it than just praying.
I see folks praying and then I see them getting up.

And then I see them go:
Stand in front of Pharaoh,
Stand in front of the judge,
Stand in front of the king, and say:
Let my people go!

I don't have a problem with praying... but at some time, I've got to get up, and sometimes you've got to get up.
Faith without works is dead!

So, the city can heal. All of us have a role in the healing. All of us have a role in restoring and bridging the gaps, and dealing with the breaches.

One of the strongest things about this class action settlement that we signed off on this past week is that it is restorative in nature.
It is just in nature.
It is restorative justice.

We realize there are some things as a community we must do.
We will hold police accountable for what they do
And we will hold ourselves accountable for what we need to do.

We are not afraid of accountability. It is restorative in nature.

And so today, we march.
We continue the call.

You will hear people say:
What do we want?
And they will say what?

Congregation: Justice!

And people will say: When do you want it?

Congregation: Now!

We'll say that today because

Justice can be measured!
It is not nebulous!
It is not pie in the sky.

We understand what Justice looks like.
It looks like keeping your promises.
It looks like treating everybody the way they ought to be treated.
It looks like, if we go to jail for committing crimes, other folks should too! We know what Justice looks like.

I challenge you. South Africa is trying to move from all those years of apartheid -- where they tried to destroy and wipe out an entire race of African people. They're trying to do it in a way different than at Nuremberg, where they went through all those trials... and trying to hunt down Nazis.

They're trying to do it and not have a national silence and act like it never happened. They're saying we are going to deal with it up front because they want to put their nation together.

Cincinnati has that chance.
It has that choice.
Either we work together, or we don't.

But if we continue to work apart -- Let's stop talking about healing. There ain't no healing.

Now, if we want to heal, we need to sit down and talk.
We need to sit down and talk.

We sat down the other week, for a hundred hours. Sitting across the table from folk who say they didn't like us. They don't even know us but they don't like us.

But after a hundred hours, they came out and they had to respect us.
They may still not like us but they had to respect us.

And after a hundred hours, we came out of there with an agreement that everybody says is good for the city.

We say there are some other issues out there,
And all you've got to do is sit down with us.
Sit down and talk with us.

We want the city to move forward...
Let's talk.

So, God's call to us is:

I don't want your sacrifices,
I don't want your feast days,
I don't want your festival,
I don't want your parties.

He said,
I don't want any of that.

He said:
What I want is for you to do justice, to love mercy and walk humbly before Me.

Some of you are upset and say:
"Why can't we party?
I want to see the OJays,
I want to see the Temptations."

As if that's going to make a difference in your life.
It doesn't amount to a hill of beans.
There will come a time for celebration. But it's not yet.

But when it comes,
We will celebrate in this house,
And outside of this house,
And we will give God the Glory.

So today, we march together.
We leave here and march to Fountain Square. We will leave here about 2 o'clock. And we stand with thousands of others who are calling for this city to move forward, who will continue to call for change.

But when you hear the voices against us, you must know as I have said today --
We will not turn our backs on young men and women who out of their anger, their pain -- the same anger and pain you had -- out of their anger and pain they took it to the streets.

And if it had not been for that -- trust me -- all these things the city is saying are great -- none of them would've happened. It would have been "business as usual."
And because of that, we cannot turn our backs... on their suffering.

Stand on your feet and give God some praise.

I want to Sherman and Nate to sing The Potter for me. Putting things back together again.

I extend to you an invitation to come and give your life to Jesus.
To come and become a member of the Body of Christ.
To come and join the church.
All you've got to do is to walk down one of these aisles.
Come to the front of this church and say: "I want to give my life to the Lord."
Where ever you might be, just come.

I want you to hear the words of this song, today. This is what God can do for your life, what God can do in a city.
"You don't have to stay in the shape you're in; the Potter wants to put you back together again."

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