In a Seedbed Seven Minute Seminary segment called, “Race as a Gospel Issue,” Lisa Yebuah’s story will challenge and encourage you as you live out your baptismal identity.
Much of the time, officers do exactly what they are supposed to do, and for this we can be grateful.
But they are armed. And the weapons they carry can easily kill people. This means that police officers must be trained to be extraordinarily disciplined in their perceptions of situations and people, and extraordinarily restrained in their use of deadly force. Otherwise the power they have to protect the innocent becomes a power to destroy the innocent.
“Because I’m from a rural and conservative hometown in south central Pennsylvania, it was rare to learn about black men and women who were whitewashed from our textbooks outside of home or church. So my first lessons about the Civil Rights Movement and the men and women who led it like Martin Luther King, Clarence Mitchell, Thurgood Marshall, Daisy Bates, Rosa Parks, Joseph DeLaine and so many others were from my Grandmother and Mother. They demanded that I emulate these men and women and commit my life for justice as well. ” – Rev. James C. Simmons
And so we pray today for our some day ending, for the will to keep on working, descending and ascending…
But this isn’t just something Christ did that was different than how God had previously revealed himself. Rather, God, from the beginning, has been challenging our understandings of the way the world is.
It is the Prophet Isaiah who stood in the gap for 40 years declaring to a people that we might be in some miserable times but God is still mighty.
It’s hard sometimes to tell people who are dealing with hell, haters, and hypocrites that greater is coming. It’s hard sometimes to tell people who are dealing with problems, pains, and predicaments that greater is coming.
You can’t allow your misery to strangle out your miracle, strip you of your joy, or rob you of your future.
Because we serve a Mighty God even in miserable times.
I contend that when people come together without anger and with love and “life together” as the end goal, churches will be healthier and people will find that they have more in common.
Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Depayne Middleton Doctor, Rev. Daniel Simmons, and Myra Thompson aren’t just victims of a hate crime. They were martyrs. They were bold and faithful witnesses to the Lord unto the end. They became the gospel in flesh and blood. They took seriously the vocation of picking up their crosses and following Jesus.
Racial reconciliation calls people to have “out of the ordinary” moments frequently. It challenges our social and spiritual status quo. One response to the tragedy at Mother Emanuel should be for churches to have more “out of the ordinary” moments with people of a different race around conversations that make us uncomfortable. It is the best way forward.
What he and I understand is that we are the Church–one, holy, apostolic, and universal–and our witness demands that we live in these intentional, uncomfortable relationships and lead the difficult conversations about the race problem.