Last night at 6:33, we talked about race and the church. How are we, as a body of believers, to understand racism and our role in the effort for justice and unity. If you missed that message, check out our Youtube channel.
Below is a follow up from last night in the form of a letter from Jenna Moss. I hope you will take time to read and reflect on her words.
To my brothers and sisters in Christ,
Thank you for being here. Thank you for choosing to spend your time reading what the Lord has laid on my heart. As you already know, this post is a guide to breaking down last night’s message. I can say with full confidence that last night the Holy Spirit was doing some work in our hearts as we digested and processed through our call to racial reconciliation as a body of Christ. Honestly, as a white female navigating through this conversation and my role in it I still find myself challenged and somedays overwhelmed. I just want to affirm whatever you are feeling right now. Whether you feel confused, overwhelmed, encouraged, upset, curious, or passive, all of these things are acceptable to feel when confronting this heavy topic. Take a deep breath (or two) here. I encourage you to just sit in whatever you are feeling and surrender it at the feet of the cross. The good news? Our hope lies in our perfect, sovereign King Jesus in whom we can find guidance, rest, and experience a deep heavenly peace on this earth.
I hope and pray that as you continue reading through these key takeaways from last night’s message that you allow Jesus to challenge, pursue, and encounter your heart.
- Racial Reconciliation is a critical component of the gospel.
- John 3:16 – “For God so loved the WORLD in this way: He gave his one and only Son so that EVERYONE who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” The words WORLD and EVERYONE points to the love that God has for a diverse people group and that his salvation covers a diverse people group.
- 2 Corinthians 5:16-20 – “From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God.’” Christ calls us to be ambassadors of reconciliation and He must be at the center of all reconciliation.
- Revelation 7:9-10 – “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” The gospel is for all nations, tribes, peoples, and languages and they are all a part of God’s vision for His Kingdom.
- Racism should not be politicized, nor should we look to our political parties to solve this issue.
- John 17:20-23 – “I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.” Racism is a sin and we are called to reconcile all sin through Jesus. We cannot defeat sin without Jesus. Our world and the media is loud and speaks their own “truth” into this topic, which often times leads to further division and disunity amongst people groups. Jesus calls us to unity as a body of Christ. Our salvation, loyalty, and hope lies in the Kingdom of God. Racial reconciliation is the work of the father, not the Republicans or Democrats.
- You are called to action by Jesus and have an important role in defeating the sin of racism.
- Micah 6:8 – “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.”
- Isaiah 1:17 – “Learn to do good; Seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
- Matthew 6:10 – “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Our joy as Christians is the opportunity to bring tastes and visions of heaven to this earth. Part of God’s vision of heaven includes all nations, tribes, languages, and peoples. We are called to bring this vision of heaven to earth through participating in multiethnic church congregations and creating spaces for these congregations to flourish.
Remember earlier how I encouraged you to surrender all the challenging things that the topic of racial reconciliation was stirring up inside of you? I ask you to surrender them again. And again. And again. These feelings will come up over and over again throughout your lifetime. As believers we have to consistently look to Jesus to know His heart for this issue and our role in it. Jesus has called each of us to action. I encourage you to do something outside of your comfort zone to challenge yourself, your beliefs, and what you have learned growing up about race. Below are three easy ways to challenge yourself:
- Come to Racial Unity Group Tuesdays at 12:30pm
- Read a book about Racial Reconciliation and the Church’s Role in it. The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby, Woke Church by Eric Mason, and White Awake by Daniel Hill are all great places to start.
- Listen to podcasts that address systemic racism, talk about the Church’s role in racial reconciliation, or allow you to gain more insight into another culture. Be the Bridge Podcast with Latasha Morrison, Racial Heresy | Making Racial Reconciliation a Spiritual Practice, NPR’s Code Switch, The New York Times’ 1619, and Centering: The Asian American Christian Podcast are some podcast that I recommend or have read good reviews about!
My brothers and sisters in Christ, I genuinely hope that you feel encouraged and curious about how you can learn more about this topic. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and you have to keep on praying and taking deep breaths along this journey.
With so much love and gratitude,