The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, January 24, 2020
On January 24, 1848, James Marshall discovered gold in the American River, setting off the California Gold Rush. Prior to the discovery of this precious metal, one hundred and fifty thousand Native Americans lived in California. White settlers in search of gold brought with them genocide through both disease and violence. In 1851, the government of California endorsed the extermination of Native people. Offering five dollars per head in some places, they invested a total of a million dollars in the systematic murder of men, women, and children. By 1870, only an estimated thirty-one thousand California Natives had survived.
Seattle, chief of the Suquamish, said, “One thing we know, which the White Man may one day discover—our God is the same God. You may think that you own Him as you wish to own our land, but you cannot. He is the God of humanity, and his compassion is equal for the red man and the white. The earth is precious to him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. Even the white man cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see.”
Thank you, Lord, that you do not claim to be God over just some people but are the creator and redeemer of all creatures. Help us spread the good news that no one can claim ownership of you because each of us belongs to you. Amen.