A State of Emergency
A State of Emergency
Dr. David F. Ingrassia // 10.17.2016 // Charlotte Awake
My phone starting ringing and dinging at 10pm on September 21st, and didn’t stop for the next three weeks. The police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott the previous night led to days of protesting, police in riot gear, tear gas, rubber bullets, the National Guard positioned Uptown, a State of Emergency, a second fatal shooting, and an uneasiness that continues even at this writing.
It has left us with repeating slideshow images running through our minds— images in the night of truck cargo burning on Interstate 85, of the silhouetted line of police in riot gear standing against the backlit fog of tear gas, faces of protesters and police inches apart in unsettling anger and unyielding order.
As dark enveloped the city, Charlotte was transformed from the South’s lively financial center to a scene played out usually in other places, other countries, and only on cable news.
The complex underlying issues apply immense subterranean pressure on the social, cultural and racial fissures not just of Charlotte, but of the entire nation as we move toward what may become the most consequential Presidential election, not only for the United States, but for the entire world.
It is as if the entire country stood frozen, waiting to see if these tremors in Charlotte presaged a coming earthquake. And when the streets were quite again, we collectively held our breath, daring not to move, praying against powerful forces we do not fully comprehend.
God’s Megaphone of Pain
C. S. Lewis famously stated: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
And so the church began to wake up. Charlotte Awake made phone calls and contact with many of the churches and ministries around the city to find out how each was responding to the crisis.
As if woken from a deep slumber with a disoriented jolt, some were uncertain how best to respond—praying, organizing, dialoguing, and for some, just being present on the streets in the middle of the pain that we were all suddenly experiencing.
God used a megaphone to begin to awaken His people. The issues we face as a city are real and run deep. There are multiple causes, tangled consequences, and indiscernible solutions.
But at the root, is a world that is riddled with the cancerous sins of racism, injustice, greed, perversion, and idolatry—all nourished by a steady diet of the artery-clogging pride of life.
This kind of spiritual arterial stenosis requires more than a bypass. It requires a new heart, a new life, a regeneration made possible by the sacrificial blood of Christ at the Cross. The divine heart donor offers the only solution, and the church proclaims the only cure—the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In short, the only solution is Jesus and His Word—the saving proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
God has begun to rouse His church from its slumbers. Revival cannot be far behind. We need it not just to survive, but to thrive. We need it in order to proclaim the healing message of the Cross to a dying city, languishing in pain, and gasping for justice and righteousness, mercy and peace.
God’s people placed a heavy blanket of peace over the burning anger in the streets as they walked and prayed. Congregations gather in prayer. Pastors call their congregations to solemn assembly. The clarion call sounds, and the church is waking up.
The shepherds stand alert. The leaders awaken. Intercessors shield the city with powerful prayer. And on October 29th, these pastors, church leaders, and intercessors will gather in unity at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for an unprecedented display of unity, crying out together in lament, repentance, and obedient faith.
Just prior to the most consequential election in our history, the church has begun to wake up. We have been given an opportunity to pray in the manifest unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3). God’s clarion call pierces the darkness.
What Can You Do?
If you are a pastor, church leader, or intercessor, contact Charlotte Awake for a limited number of remaining seats at the October 29th gathering (firstname.lastname@example.org). Due to building capacity you must register.
You can add your voice to the prayers now ascending to heaven as God’s people cry out to Him in repentance for mercy, for justice and righteousness, and for the kingdom of God.
Sign up online at CharlottePrayer.net to join the prayer net. Pray where and when you can, but help cover the city 24/7. Sign up so we know the city is covered in prayer. NOW is the time!