Fire in my Bones by J Lee Grady
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Jesus told the Pharisees that their holier-than-thou traditions actually nullified the Word of God. They were obsessed with washing their hands and dishes to keep themselves pure; Jesus was focused on touching the untouchables of society so that God’s love and mercy could spread to everyone. We have a choice: Sterile religion or radical compassion.
I’m convinced we won’t achieve true racial reconciliation until we all become more intentional about it. Healing won’t happen if we don’t make it a priority. What will it require? If we truly want to be a prophetic people, the church must address racism from every angle:
- We must offer Christ’s healing to those who have been treated unjustly (this includes indigenous peoples as well as immigrant communities).
- We must challenge Christians to let go of racial offences rather than tolerating a climate of bitterness and resentment.
- We must build multi-ethnic churches led by multi-ethnic leadership teams.
- We must be willing to feel the pain of those who have suffered discrimination so we can truly “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2, NASB). That means we have to educate ourselves about the history of racism in our own communities—and dialogue with the people who have been most affected.
This week would be an appropriate time for all of us to jumpstart our reconciliation efforts. June 19 is Freedom Day, otherwise known as Juneteenth—a holiday commemorating the emancipation of black slaves (an act President Abraham Lincoln said was a response to God’s leading). Instead of viewing Juneteenth as a “black thing,” all congregations that care about justice and compassion should celebrate the fact that God heard the cries of American slaves and blessed them with freedom and dignity. Then we should link arms across racial lines and work to bring that dignity to everybody.
http://www.juneteenth.com/ – more … June 19th .. since 1865