We are ambassadors of the Kingdom and agents of reconciliation and unity, over any and all cultural, social, political or economic identification or affiliation. We are advocates for the voices and the lives impacted at the hands of centuries of racial violence and social injustice.
We are ministers of reconciliation, reconciling people to God. What does that mean? How do we do that?
What has the Lord required of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
Jesus is the Author of social justice. He lived a righteous and just life yet died on the Cross on the behalf of the guilty. Now we too are called to be righteous, not because of what we have done, but because of what He did. Meaning, we were declared righteous when we certainly didn’t deserve it. Now, we are called to seek that same freedom for others to bring them out of the darkness and into the light.
The injustice is targeted to the vulnerable. The weaker someone is, the easier it is to take advantage of them. The weaker a group is, the harder it is to get out of that position.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy (Proverbs 31: 8-9).
We are here bringing Heaven closer to Earth. And right now, that means seeking out vulnerable people and loving them well.
Our sanctification is inextricably tied to the way we love our brothers and sisters; the way we exhibit love as a verb.
People are never the battle. We cannot afford to ever see a person as the battle, but the battlefield. The war is waged inside of them (Ephesians 6:12).
Racism is a multi-layered, multi-faceted, multi-generational issue; our learning is never complete. The learning is uncomfortable, unraveling aspects of racism and realizing the doors to the school to prison pipeline, mass incarceration, prison slavery, education, wealth, health care, housing, policing, and voting, and the doors to so many other issues swing wide open. Our grief must lead us to sustainable and transformative action in sync with the Lord’s desire to see the Body of Christ united.
Let us continue to ask how, not if, our racism manifests. Let us keep exploring alternate racial perspectives, for refusing to do so retains white perspectives as universal. Let us become eager to do the work as we care more about others and less about ourselves (and how we think we look to others).
I want to center and amplify the voices of those who are marginalized and oppressed: the unsung heroes. Many Black men and women have put ink to the ineffable, drenching their truth in vulnerability. We cannot put the weight on our Black friends to educate us. This isn’t our pain to claim, but it’s our work to do, to understand their plight and come alongside the fight for equality.
Books like "White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin DiAngelo, "How to Be an Anti-Racist" by Ibram X. Kendi, and "I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness" by Austin Channing Brown are good places to start reading. Movies like 13th, Selma, Just Mercy and When They See Us are good places to start watching.
Questions to Ponder:
- How can I seek ways to humble myself as much as possible? What does this look like in my everyday life?
- How can I be a lifelong learner? Silence is complicit agreement, but we also need to listen.
- What is my role to play in this movement? If the Lord speaks to you, follow that conviction. It is NOT up to us to be the savior, but to come alongside people already with their boots on the ground (many of which have been there for years).
Join me in prayer: Lord, thank you for sitting with us in the uncomfortable work on uncovering our own bias in a way that produces more love, empathy, strength, and courage. Thank you that when we get tired (and we will) we can come back to the altar with You to process without becoming paralyzed. Thank you for guiding our outrage, empathy, and grief towards action. Lord, thank you for showing us how we need to change, motivating us to stand together and hold a space where Love can rise.