the sin of racism and the answer

There is one thing for sure, racism is a sin and sin however latent it may be, remains alive and well. The sin of racism is evident to us in any number of ways. Of course it can concern any ethnic group especially where they may be a minority. Here in the United States the African American community bears the brunt of it, though others have struggled as well.

The American justice system may be in some ways the best in the world, but it has inherent limitations, if not flaws. Much good has been done in the past decades not without some great sacrifice, not to mention great giftedness (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., etc.). Great efforts are ongoing here and there. But by and large society simply reflects the condition of the heart. Laws made and enforced can help curb the results of that, but the hearts will remain the same, unless changed by grace.

There is common grace by which people over time can live more in terms of how they were created, as God’s image bearers. That is good. But the world needs more. We all need the grace by which we are forgiven in and through Jesus, and by which we forgive others, even the worst offenders. A grace which actually changes our hearts to love God and our neighbor, even our most difficult neighbors, yes our enemies. This grace is in and through Jesus, through his death for our sins by which we can receive forgiveness, cleansing and eternal life.

The church is the entity on earth in which God’s kingdom come in Jesus should be at play (and at work). The church won’t be perfect in this, but there should be a substantial difference. The kingdom reality has arrived in King Jesus, even though it has yet to be completely realized. The churches should want to reflect the difference the gospel makes. How walls between ethnic groups and other warring factions are broken down. How it is no longer tit for tat, but how with all our differences and rich diversity, we are on family in and through Jesus. That should be a natural outcome of the work and life of the Spirit in our midst. Something sorely needed all over the world.

Two prayers from the Book of Common Prayer in closing:

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us
through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole
human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which
infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us;
unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and
confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in
your good time, all nations and races may serve you in
harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn
but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the
strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that
all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of
Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and
glory, now and for ever. Amen.