I watched one of my sons leave earlier today — he rode the SunRail to walk among the protestors downtown, to hear them, and to pray for them. As he went, I prayed for him, and I was proud of him. I was also a little afraid for him. But I don’t have to fear for his life every day as so many people of color do for their children.
There are so many things like this that I will never and can never understand about racial injustice. But I do understand that it is sin, and that we must push back against it in our homes, our churches, our cities, and our nation as an affront to the God who calls people from every tribe and nation his children (Is. 1:17, Rev 5:9).
I also understand that we are called to bear one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2), and this burden is too great for anyone to bear alone.
And I also understand that we are called to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Col 1:10). As I said in my blog post over the weekend, racism is a heart problem, and heart problems are gospel problems at the core. When we judge others, it shows that we do not understand either our deep need for God’s mercy or His free gift of grace to all people. It shows that we do not love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength if we are unable to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt 22:36-40).
What will Grace do? First, we’ll be working harder to give voice to some of these stories. Right now, we’re putting together a roundtable podcast that will release in the next week or so, so that we hear some of the diverse voices in our church talk about their love for Jesus and their experiences as people of color. We will also continue to look for ways we can serve and learn. This isn’t politics. It’s being peacemakers, whom Jesus called blessed (Matt 5:9).
Most of all, we will continue to preach the gospel through the Word of God and call people to take steps toward Christ in all ways including this one — in fact, we are providentially studying the book of Jonah right now, which faces this issue head on. It’s in becoming like Jesus that we will know how to love one another best. -Pastor Mike