Finding Peace in the Midst of Racism and Identity Politics

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“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) 

There is hope, even in these turbulent times. The spirit of the world is divisive, angry, hateful and racist. Those forces can deeply affect how we view ourselves and those around us. But looking to Jesus brings us clarity, charity and peace

Increasing racial tensions can quickly resurrect old wounds and cause them to burn with a vengeance. We can find bitterness an easy path to take, but it is one which wounds us even more deeply.

In our broken world, we are all wounded, often deeply, by the differences that divide us. Racism – and other divisive beliefs and attitudes – permeate this world, wounding and dividing us. But we can be at peace – and be peacemakers – in the midst of this turmoil. 

Jesus rejected racism and identity politics. In him, we “are all one” – transcending all racial, class and gender distinctions. Jesus prayed to our Father: “ I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity” (John 17:22-23). 

How is that possible? Because we have Christ incarnate in us. The glory Jesus gave us is himself.

We are a new creation in Jesus Christ, who reconciled us to God and “gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).

Now, we can have healing in our hearts and in our relationships through Jesus Christ. Jesus can – and will – heal our deepest wounds and soften the hardness of our own hearts.

At the cross, we see other people by the value of Christ’s blood. We see people of infinite worth in God’s eyes. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

We all need transformed hearts that are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

It is especially at troubled times like these that we must listen to and talk with one another. In so doing – in extending the grace, love and forgiveness of God to others – we minister to them and bring reconciliation.

Let us not get caught up in the superficial, the outward appearance, but rather look to one another as equals – brothers and sisters of Christ who are all equal at the foot of the cross.

 Let us love one another, as God loves us.

 

 

 

Together we are better!

Anytime that we categorize people into “us” and “them,” “them” is always less than “us.” The truth is there is only “us.” If we categorize people and buy into the legitimacy and validity of distinctions based on the pigment of skin, then we are locked into racism and we will be thinking in its terms until we see Jesus. I say NO! I say that my Father delights in diversity. I say that my Father made people with different skin pigments because He wanted to; because he loves to create. I just want to say that it is an honor to be your brother; together in Christ!

I want to call us as a church to be a church that realizes that we are not saved to sit, that we are called to go into every place where there is relational poverty and physical poverty and be the light and truth of Jesus Christ! We are to be a living example of God’s work to bring an end to the sin and brokenness of racism; and so we pray against the sin of racism. We pray God that you would continue to break the back of hate and hell by the power and resurrection of the love of Jesus Christ!

We pray that the church would be on the forefront of working for justice, to demonstrate your healing in practical ways. God use our hands and use our feet; in Baltimore City and in the places where we work to demonstrate your love and your healing. We pray this united; as all God’s people say, Amen. –Dr. Drew Shofner

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