“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 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: 26-28
For Christians, our identity should be in Jesus. All other characteristics such as race, ethnicity, nationality, and gender take second place. And the more we surrender our lives to Jesus, the more pride, prejudice and even racism begin to fall away. So what steps can we take to be part of the change our society so desperately needs?
- PRAY– Pray for people of other races by name. (If you can’t think of many, that says a lot). Pray for those in power – those instrumental in creating change. Finally, pray for yourself – that God would reveal and remove the prejudices in your own heart, whether big or small.
- SPEAK – Start conversations with those whose lives and stories are different from yours.
- LISTEN – Listen to the different experiences and opinions of others. A meal, especially in your home, is a great place to start.
- CELEBRATE – Celebrate our diversity. The Bible describes heaven when every tribe, every nation and every language will be represented and praising God together. What a day that will be! (Revelation 7:9-10)
So what can we do in the face of such complex issues such as racism, prejudice and social injustice? We can pray. And that prayer might need to begin with asking for God’s forgiveness when we judge an entire group of people. We can also talk to others and listen to their stories. And finally, we can celebrate our God-given differences.
Adapted from a sermon by Steven Bonham, Teaching Pastor at JFBC