FIRE FROM BELOW AND FIRE FROM ABOVE
Is there any way to say this that isn’t awkward and weird? But I want to say it today to all my friends who are “people of color”: It hurts me and it’s demeaning to our country that thick-headed bigotry still shapes your daily experience.
We are not a nation of racists, but we are still a nation where many non-whites continue to experience the sense of being underestimated… suspected… excluded… rejected...sometimes even treated with fear and loathing. I don’t claim to know what that’s like, but I have learned from you that those experiences and feelings are real. And so is the tribalism hidden within power structures that gives rise to them.
What to do? A good start would be to weed out every sadistic cop who lies in wait for an opportunity to grind a black man’s face into the asphalt. No lip service – just ID them and fire them.
But of course that would only put a dent in the problem. God alone can solve it. The only real solution has to come from him.
And it has.
Today is Pentecost Sunday. All over the world Christians are remembering what happened in Jerusalem shortly after the Lord was taken up to heaven. God poured out his Spirit on an eclectic crowd of new believers. In doing so he instantaneously broke down the barriers of race, tribe, language and custom (see Acts 2).
God does the same thing today wherever people turn from their sin and receive the Lord Jesus in faith. Filled with the Spirit, we become united in Christ’s body. And united with Christ, we suddenly understand the meaning of equality. We’ve been created in God’s image and adopted as his very own children. Therefore we really are equal. There’s no basis whatsoever for boasting, discriminating or putting people down. Not because all differences go away, but because our differences are what God uses to create a perfect body – the body of Jesus doing the work of Jesus.
May the fires of hatred be extinguished in every heart, and may God pour out his Spirit in a mighty way on our beloved country.