Racial Reconciliation

Racial Reconciliation

Ephesians 2:11-15

So then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh—called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” which is done in the flesh by human hands.  At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace.


                Things have seemingly gone back to normal in relation to the interaction between the African American community and the white community. But, in the past months the waters have not looked as calm as they do today. We had the situation with Michael Brown a few months back, and then we had the incident with Eric Garner in New York, and with these situations comes strife and enmity between the races. It really brings to light the fact that all of the work that seemed to be accomplished in the 1960’s in the Civil Rights Movement was not really accomplished. The racism and hatred from both sides seemed to swell up and explode all over the place. But the most disappointing thing about all of this, is the way that the church reacted to these situations.

                The verse that is above is written by Paul to a church trying to get them to see what I believe we all need to see and be reminded of today. It says that we were all once far off from Christ and excluded from Israel. I believe that the idea that Christianity is an American religion that has belonged to us for thousands of years has crept in and given us a sense of superiority, but if we read that, we should take note that we were all far away from God. But, the good news is that by the blood of the Messiah, He tore down the wall that was separating us. (And by us I not only mean African Americans and whites, but also racial tension between American and Iranians, or any other type of racism or ethnic superiority that exist.) And by His death he ‘made both groups one’. Jesus made one “new man”. This is an amazing act that God has done. In the context of the letter it just narrows it down to Jew and Gentile but what is really taking place here is much wider than that. God has broken down the dividing wall between every country, language, people group, and nation. We are all one people. I am no longer just an American, but I am first and foremost a CHRISTIAN American. I am God’s child.

                And the most radical thing takes place when we join the family of God. We now have more in common with the Christian in Russia than we do with our best friend who is not a Christian and grew up in the same neighborhood as us. I am universally connect to people all over the planet because of what Christ did by tearing down the wall that was dividing up people. And so that affect should take place here in America, in the Church! We should weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn in the church, no matter what their color or ethnicity is. That is what we are called to do.

                A pastor out of Texas that I listen to a lot had a really good illustration about connecting with each other, within the church, across racial lines in times of tragedy, and what we shouldn’t do. He said, “IF you fail to baby prof your house and your infant/toddler wonders over and sticks a paper clip into an outlet and get electrocuted it would not be right for me to show up at your house and tell you “well you should have done this or done that, and here are some links to how to baby prof your house”. No, the first thing you would expect me to do is to mourn with you in your lose.” I thought it was an excellent illustration about how we usually handle things across racial barriers now. We are called to connect with our brother and sister in Christ in their situation. I fall so tremendously short in this category myself but that is still not an excuse to skip over the situation. We as a church are called to love one another.

                What a wonderful thing it would be for the Church to be the light to the world the next time a tragedy hits that we all unite together. No matter what race, or culture we are from, just to unite together over an issue and show the world that as Christians when one of us hurts, all of us hurts. Let us unite and not divide on crucial issues because Christ has worked to unite us.
-Pastor Tyler Mooring