As Christians of differing ethnicities, we share a common heritage, a common memory. Consider these words from the Apostle Paul: “In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…. 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 NIV).
This does not mean that we take a color-blind approach to community. Paul wasn’t suggesting that aspects of our gender or racial identity aren’t important, that we should all meld together into one indistinguishable throng. In fact, Paul emphasized that unity can be found in diversity. We all have been given different gifts; we all are different parts of the same body.
In the love of the family of God, we must become color brave, color caring, color honoring, and not colorblind. We have to recognize the image of God in one another. We have to love despite, and even because of, our differences.
I believe that real beauty can come from the ashes of our country’s history with racism. But the family of God must first acknowledge the ashes. Without looking back, without understanding the truth of our country’s history, it’s difficult to move forward in healthy ways.
Truth frees us to grow. Frees us to see. Frees us to be aware. Frees us from the bondage of racial sin. Frees us to have courage for the difficult conversations. Truth is the foundation of awareness, and awareness is the first step in the process of reconciliation. As Jesus told us, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32, NIV).
Lord, I cry out to you, my God and Redeemer, as the only one who can save me from myself. Show me my blind spots. Help me to see truth, even when it is uncomfortable. I want to know the truth that will set me free. Amen.