There has been a rawness in my soul as I’ve watched the news and reaction Trayvon Martin case over the last few days. I have read great pieces from TripLee, Eugene Cho, and Al Mohler. No matter your opinions of George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin, I strongly recommend you read these articles. Each challenged me and brought conviction as I consider the issue of race in this country. The verdict and the controversies surrounding it have not only sparked intense debate and conversation on the internet, but among friends and colleagues. Once again, one of the deepest roots of division in our country is exposed.
This has caused deep wrestling within me. I have been praying this morning, asking the Lord where His heart is in all of this and how He wants me to respond. How is He calling me to act in the face of what I am seeing and hearing? As I search the Scriptures, I sense there is stirring in Heaven that is calling the Church to rise up against this issues of racism and prejudice. Also, I’ve been examining my heart, asking Jesus to wipe from me every trace of prejudice that disparages my brothers and sisters of any race, ability or creed, because they are all beautiful image bearers of Almighty God.
Malachi 2:10 (NKJV) says:
Have we not all one Father?
Has not one God created us?
Why do we deal treacherously with one another
By profaning the covenant of the fathers?
We need to stop hiding our heads in the sand, acting like race isn’t an issue & isn’t our problem. It is our problem. To be honest, I have been disappointed with some of the responses I have seen from people in the Church which ring with the attitude that a 17 year-old black kid got what he deserved. This should not be so! As the Church, we must see those around us with the heart and mind of Jesus and if we cannot see Trayvon Martin as one of our own, that is to our shame.
Why don’t we see the Church as the place where we boldly and gloriously proclaim this truth: our God is not colorblind, but He is beautifully represented in the variety of people who make up our world. As the Church, we must stop using our reputation, rights, and comfort as an excuse to brush past what are deep wounds and hurts facing our communities. Instead we should seek the Lord, allow Him to examine our hearts, expose our prejudices, repent and begin to be revolutionary in our advocacy of reconciliation.
So here is my challenge: consider the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 5 (bold emphasis mine) and what they mean for us:
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.