Last night at a peace and prayer rally, our 6 month old Henry was mesmerized by the beautiful black girls around us. He smiled at them and laughed at them and would not take his eyes off of them.
I leaned down and whispered in his ear, “Aren’t those girls so beautiful?”
While I’m aware that at 6 months of age, he doesn’t really know what I’m saying but he hears the tone of my voice when I speak to and about African Americans in our community as we greet one another at church or in passing them on the street. He senses the calmness in my demeanor as we find ourselves in a crowd where we are the minority. He sees how I smile at people who don’t look like us. And while I spend a majority of my awake hours feeling like I don’t have a clue how to parent this child and that there are a lot of things I will get wrong but this is one thing I am trying to get right.
I pray he is always mesmerized by the way God’s creation is magnified by it’s diversity.
Last night’s event was held in a big parking lot of a majority black church just south of my city. We sang, we praised, we mourned, we listened. I was reminded last night that while I know that the pain from the brokenness of this world will not be wiped away by legislation but by the return of Jesus, He is calling us stand with our brothers and sisters in the fight for racial equality just as he is leading us to hold hands in prayer for Jesus to heal our land.
What I’m seeing among the Church today is division between either fighting for social justice OR leaning on the sufficiency of the gospel and I’m here to tell you, friends, that we don’t have to choose. The beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that He is reconciling us to himself, to be made more like him and hear me say – Jesus stood in the gap for his children. So please do fall at the feet of Jesus and pray that Thy Kingdom come and Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven because the place that Jesus has gone to prepare for us is one of equality where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is God.
Racism is a heart issue, it is a sin issue and Church, the repentance must start with us. We pray for God to heal our land but he tells us clearly in scripture that it starts with the people of God repenting and turning from sin. It starts with us. We can’t expect anyone to lend an ear to hear the gospel when we are unwilling to hear and respond to their plight.
We do not have to choose between social justice and the sufficiency of the gospel. We can both be people of prayer and people standing for equality among all of God’s children. There is no room for division here, Church. And dare I say we are hindering the Kingdom work that God has called us to when we ignore the injustice of the communities we’re called to serve.
It starts with us. It starts with our hearts, on our knees, in our homes, and on our streets.
Let’s get to it.