We are all part of one global family.
Jesus Christ has come to establish the kingdom of God, which he has opened to people of all nations and races. Jesus made it clear that God loves the world and everyone in it. When he gave his life on the cross, it was for all of us. When he poured out his Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, it was upon people of all nations. One of the great joys of the Christian life is that we consider people of all races to be members of our family and our brothers and sisters. The kingdom of God is not only the hope of the world; it is our great joy.
Members of our family are suffering.
The Bible says that “when one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). For generations, black people and people of color have lived under crushing racial bias and prejudice. They have suffered while other members of God’s family have remained silent. It is time for us all to understand their suffering so that God can move us all to be part of the solution. It is time for us to speak out together as one body of Christ, for this is a problem we all share.
Racism is first a problem of the heart.
Even as we seek to advance laws that eliminate racial discrimination, racism as a prejudice is a spiritual problem. While discrimination can be outlawed, prejudice requires repentance. Developing better laws is a good step in the right direction, but we also need to get to the heart of the matter. Racism is hatred. The answer to hatred is love. The source of love is God. We must see one another through God’s eyes, and through the lens of God’s love which is the same for all of us.
There are things we can do now as a body of believers.
The resolution of racism will not happen overnight, but we can indeed make good progress. Now is the time for a new resolve. Here are some things you can do right away.
Check your own heart daily.
Repent of any hatred or bitterness you find.
Confess your sins of prejudice to a friend.
Ask God for forgiveness.
Develop friendships with people of other races.
Speak against racial prejudice wherever you encounter it.
Talk to your children about it.
Be creative and develop your own response.
Ask God to show your next steps.
The time of silence and inactivity is over.
You are the light of the world.
Jesus called his followers “the salt of the earth, the city on a hill, and the light of the world.” This means that we have work to do together. The world needs to see the family of God loving each other and working side-by-side to address the problem of racism as one body. Yet we don’t do this work alone; Jesus himself will lead us forward.
Our resolve is but a first step, but there will be many other steps to take.
May the Lord Jesus Christ lead us forward into a better future for all of God’s people.
Pastor John Longmire
Pastor Kevin Kresge
Mike Vinson – Chair of Church Council
And the Members of Church Council