This Sunday, our family started a journey that we’ve been eagerly anticipating and praying for for quite some time. This week, and for the next five weeks, we’ll be spending time as a church family talking about race, the story of God, and the story of America in a series that we’ll be calling, “Precious in His Sight.”
The point of the story that we’ll be telling about race and America and God’s people over the course of the next five weeks isn’t designed to make you feel guilty. It’s not designed to make you feel angry. It’s not designed to sink you into hopeless remorse. However, what we want for this series is for us as a family to come out on the other side and be able to say, “there are some things in here that I did not know and helped me understand where people are coming from even more.” We all have room in grow in understanding people that aren’t like us, and we as a church family have room to grow in becoming people like God who value and protect and welcome all of His people.
For this premiere week of the series, Michael Bailey started off by giving us our first baby steps into the much larger conversation that exists around us about race and race relations and the church in America. The first point may seem overly simple and extremely obvious, but we started by defining Americans as living in what sociologists call a “racialized society.” Uniquely to the world and the country that we live in today, race plays a huge part of our experiences and how our lives are lived. Race correlates to differences in average incomes, education levels, birth and death rates, incarceration rates, and even more.
However, in the midst of this racialized society, God’s people should have something different to offer.
The Church should exemplify a multi-ethnic people group that live by the understanding that we are all part of the imago dei, those found in the image of God. Genesis 1 shows us that this moniker of being made in God’s image was given to all created men and women, not just a specific race. Revelation 5 tells us that at the end of all days, Jesus will return to be worshiped by people from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people group.
The Church should exist and thrive in an understanding that God is not colorblind. He delights in every race and in all of the distinct and different cultures and backgrounds that are represented on the face of the earth that He made. God so delights in all the varied cultures and races that he will not stop his work of redemption until every tribe and tongue and race and people group is represented in his family.
Loved like that, there is no one better equipped for this race conversation than us as God’s people. We have a source of love and acceptance and equality to hold us steady as we discuss issues that are happening.
Songs from this Week:
Rock of Ages- Dustin Kensrue
God We Exalt You Here- Emmanuel LIVE
My Worth is Not In What I Own- Keith and Kristyn Getty
In Christ Alone- Mars Hill Church