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06.01.20 | Jeff Frazier

Racial Reconciliation, the Gospel & You

Pastor Jeff Frazier

 

Many of us watching the tragic and disturbing incidents of racial oppression and violence in our country wonder what we could possibly do to make a difference.  We feel angry, fearful, and helpless (the very same emotions many of our neighbors of color feel everyday).  So what can we do, outside of posting on social media, what can we really do?  There are many things we can (and should) do actually.  The following is nowhere near a complete list, but simply a place for us to start.

Begin by sitting down with your Bible and reading through the following passages:

Isaiah 61:1-10
Psalm 10:12-18
Genesis 1:26-27
Romans 2:6-11
Acts 10:34-35
Galatians 3:26-28
Revelation 7:9-12

God created all of humanity in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). That means all of us are more alike than we are different. Everyone, of every race or ethnicity, is created by God and reflect His workmanship. Holding a bias toward one group of people over another is a sin. We won’t overcome racism by ignoring all the unique and beautiful ways God made us. 

What we need more than anything is to appreciate our differences and listen to each other’s experiences, knowing that we each have something to show the other about God.  

Our internal bond as brothers and sisters in Christ is greater than any external difference (Galatians 3:28). One day, we will all worship Jesus together — people of every tribe, nation, and tongue. And as a church, we get the unique opportunity to pursue that kind of uncommon unity right here, right now!

5 steps to help you grow in racial awareness & understanding God’s heart for justice:

Praise 

  • How can our differences lead us to praise God?
  • What does God teach us about Himself through our differences?
  • How can we move from acknowledging our differences to celebrating them?

Repent

  • Who do you spend your time with? How well do you know people of other races or ethnicities?
  • Have you ever looked the other way rather than confront prejudice?
  • Where might you need to confess bias toward another person or group? 
  • When have you kept silent about racial injustice out of fear or apathy?

Learn

One thing all of us can do is to begin to educate ourselves on this issue with better information than Twitter or Facebook!  

Here are links to 6 books that will get you started in the conversation:

https://www.amazon.com/Just-Mercy-Story-Justice-Redemption/dp/081298496X

https://www.amazon.com/Rediscipling-White-Church-Diversity-Solidarity/dp/0830845976

https://www.amazon.com/One-Blood-Parting-Words-Church/dp/0802418015

https://www.amazon.com/Reconciliation-Blues-Evangelicals-Inside-Christianity/dp/0830833625

https://www.amazon.com/Divided-Faith-Evangelical-Religion-Problem/dp/0195147073

https://www.amazon.com/United-Captured-Gods-Vision-Diversity/dp/0802410146/?tag=thegospcoal-20

Ask

  • When’s the last time you grieved with someone over injustice? Ask God to show you the things that break His heart. 
  • Where do you see the consequences of prejudice or racism? Ask God to bring healing where there has been hurt, to bring reconciliation where there has been division, and to give each of us the boldness to go deeper with people who are not like us. 

Act

  • What would “uncommon unity” look like in your neighborhood, workplace, and/or small group?
  • Are you willing to let God make you an instrument of healing? Give yourself time to listen as the Holy Spirit shows steps you can take this week to bring reconciliation to your spheres of influence. 
  • Take time to listen to the stories & experiences of people from a different race or culture from you.