heaven2 Kings 23:1, 3 “Then the king sent for the elders and other leaders of Judah and Jerusalem to go to the Temple with him. So all the priests and prophets and the people, small and great, of Jerusalem and Judah gathered there at the Temple so that the king could read to them the entire book of God’s laws which had been discovered in the Temple. He stood beside the pillar in front of the people, and he and they made a solemn promise to the Lord to obey him at all times and to do everything the book commanded. “

Another 18 year old black male was shot down in broad daylight in Frayser. For many today will be another ordinary day. We will blink an eye and keep moving but for the mother of this child, this will be a day hard to forget. This mother said that,”This violence has to stop! The kids can’t even go out to play. A lot of killing, a lot of stealing and shooting, God have mercy on Memphis, Tennessee!”

How many more people have to die before we do something? King Josiah saw that his people were under a curse. The temple had been neglected. Idols were prevalent. People were dying. So he decided to start by cleaning up the temple. While they were cleaning up, they discovered the Book of the law. That’s when the King realized how far from God he and his people had strayed. He started a reform by gathering all the people together, the smallest to the greatest, in the Temple to recommit to the covenant.

1. Community reform begins in the house of God. The Temple of Jerusalem served as a place where God’s people could return in crisis. 1 Kings 8:30 Listen to every plea of the people of Israel whenever they face this place to pray; yes, hear in heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive. With over 3,000 churches in Memphis, we should be able to turn our communities around if the people would just turn back to God.

2.  Reform begins when we remember God’s word. The only way the poor can be protected from violence is that we adhere to the law of God and cooperate with the law of the land. Without God’s law (his instructions for life) and law enforcement(authorities who serve and protect) there is anarchy and chaos. But the breach of trust must be repaired between the people and the priest; the people and the police.

3. Reform begins with the people of God. he (the King) and they made a solemn promise to the Lord to obey him at all times and to do everything the book commanded.

If we are going to stop the violence in our cities, we are going to have to come back to God’s house and make a commitment to live life God’s way. Everybody from the famous to infamous has to come into the church to pray over this city and make a commitment to non-violence. We have to ask God to have mercy on our city!

Dear God,

Things have gotten out of control here in the City of Good Abode. Poor people are held hostage by violent bullies and shot down by stray bullets. Police officers are shot down, there is black on black crime, and police brutality across the land. Our prophet of Non-Violence was murdered here in Memphis. His blood still cries out from the ground along with the blood of so many innocent lives taken to soon. Break the curse of this city and help us all to turn back to you. Help us to rediscover the mantle of non-violence soaked with the blood of Dr. Martin Luther King. Help us to restore the breach of trust with the MPD that began that fateful day when police officers were ordered away from the Lorraine Motel, while Dr. King was assassinated. Forgive us for the murder of non-violence. Resurrect peace. Resurrect trust. Resurrect community. Restore peace over this city. God have Mercy on Memphis, TN!

In Jesus Name,

Amen