The Call of Reconciliation
Recently, we as a nation were struck by a senseless tragedy. A white young man walked into a church and killed 9 people in church for no other reason than the color of their skin. As a nation it should remind us of how far we still have to go on racial reconciliation. We are a divided country with divided neighborhoods schools and churches. Although segregation ended in the 1960s and 70s, many of us live our lives and never interact with people of a different race, outside of work. In every town there is a black school and a white school and black churches and white churches. As it once said Sunday morning at 11 AM is the most segregated time in our country. This should not be.
People like to say things like it’s not a skin problem it’s a sin problem. Which although it looks good on t-shirt I respectfully disagree. There is a skin problem and a sin problem. We are a divided nation and it is up to someone to step into the divide and become ministers of reconciliation.
2 Cor 5:17-19 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
God has given us who claim to be followers of Christ the ministry of reconviction. We are called to reconcile black and white, rich and poor until we all come into the unity of Christ.
Reconciliation cannot happen without solidarity and solidarity will be not be obtained without listening. Reconciliation will only happen if commit to listen to each other and not act as if only our experience counts. We cannot stand on our side screaming at the other but we must cross the line and build a relationship with someone who is different than you. We need to understand that everyone has a story and that story matters. Reconciliation will never happen if we refuse to listen and acknowledge that other’s experience is real even if it’s no convenient or what we want to hear.
Another key element is to acknowledge the current reality. We have not come as far as we think. Fifty years later and Dr. King’s dream is still not a reality. People are still being judged by the color of their skin and not the content of their character. We must realize that all white people aren’t racist and all black men aren’t thugs. We must look at people as individuals who Jesus created and loves to the point he died on the cross for therm. racial reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel. If our churches are multi-ethnic and multi-cultural and our neighborhood is we have missed the point of the gospel. Reconciling all people to God.
The world doesn’t need the church to take sides. We need Christians to step up and fulfill their calling to be ministers of reconciliation. If you are going to speak let it be with one voice shouting for unity. If we have to take a stand, let it be in the divide. That is where Jesus our example stood. Answer the call.
-Chris Cole, Campus Pastor- The Bridge Church – Midtown