January 18, 2010

Racial Reconciliation

Written by Boyd Bailey

Racial Reconciliation… “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’” Acts 22:21

Race divides. It inherently needs reconciliation. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are expected to be on the forefront of racial reconciliation. Christ is colorblind. There is no preference between Jew and Gentile, black or white, yellow or brown. They are all precious in his sight. Yet, every day, millions are disenfranchised or killed because of their cultural heritage and color of skin. Where pride and ego drove the human race into different geographical and racial directions, Christ reunites us. He is the racial reconciler.

The feet of Jesus are level for all races. Sin is the only explanation for one race’s sense of superiority over another. It breaks the heart of God. Jesus went way out of his way to love a racial outcast in the Samaritan woman (John 4). He was compelled by the Holy Spirit to reach out across class, cultural, and racial barriers.

In the same way and spirit, God is leading you to reach out to others different from yourself. He is calling on His disciples to be intentional in healing past hurts and serving current needs. Some will receive your sincere service, and others will question your motive. But when all is said and done, your part is to go and be a blessing, and God’s part is to facilitate trust and healing. You probably do not consider yourself a racist. That is, you do not feel or act better than another human being just because of your race.

However, to be silent or to not intentionally reach out to another culture is passive racism. It is subtle, but the same ill effects occur. The offended or disillusioned ones are still stuck in their inferior state of mind, economics, and education. It is not the role of government to figure this out. Rather, it is the mandate of the church because Christians know better. We can model the way of racial reconciliation as did Jesus and the early disciples.

Consider a weekly one-on-one study for a year with someone of a different race. Learn about their culture, history, and hurts. Indeed, racial reconciliation happens one person at a time and it happens relationally. Do not wait on someone else to come to you. You go to them. Yes, it is a little uncomfortable and yes, there will be misunderstanding. But Jesus is the standard bearer and the relational mediator. He represents all races, and He created the different races.

Let the Bible be your foundational source of racial reconciliation. Start today on a crosscultural mission. It may be someone at work or in your neighborhood. Invite their family into your home for a meal. Serve them every time you get a chance, and watch God work. Then the world will see—in technicolor—that you are truly disciples of Christ because you love one another; races will be reconciled and God will be glorified. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

Why is Christ colorblind? Who can I build a relationship with that is of a different race?

Related Readings: Genesis 11:1-8; John 4:1-42; Romans 10:12; Galatians 2:14

Transformational Living
What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading? How will I respond?

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