When I began this writing journey nearly two years ago, little did I know where God would lead me. The summer before this writing adventure launched, a teenager named Michael Brown’s unarmed shooting death ripped a hole in the racial universe. Ferguson, MO started a race riot heard and seen around the world. What made this event different was these riots would go on for weeks raising the tension levels and unrest to high alert. The tension was felt in every community across the country. Riots and protest would break out in Baltimore, Dallas, Baton Rouge and Milwaukee after other shootings took place. The fuse was lit, the powder keg about to explode.
It was out of this that my Bible Study One Nation Under God-Healing Racial Divides was birthed. This is not a sales pitch. I toyed with several endings to the study; I wanted to call for a day of reconciliation where we could come together as a nation and all voluntarily lay down the burdens that have been built on mountains of hurt, injustice, and the dehumanization of not just black Americans, but Native Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, and White Americans, we have all been gravely wounded by all this fighting and division. Recent events have opened this tender wound a new and caused even more hurt. I don’t have the clout to pull that off and reconciliation is something all parties need to equally desire. As the Bible study was field tested, it was obvious that would not work. Several test congregations had the same disappointing response, “Racism is too big a problem to solve. Things will never change. We just have to deal with it.” My response was a bit snarky but sincere. “Well, I see how small your god is, but I am convinced my God is bigger than racism. If God can solve the sin problem, I am sure He can handle racism.” I know you who are reading this think how Polly Anna of me. But here are some verses to consider.
Nothing Is Impossible!
In Genesis at the tower of Babel, the people were building a tower to reach the heavens. This is what God said, “And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” Genesis 11:6
In Matthew 17:20 when Jesus is talking about faith. “He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
When Jesus is teaching the disciples about salvation, He reminds them in Mark 10:27.
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’”
Calling on ALL people of Faith! “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received[a] it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:23-25
If like me, you are fed up with the hateful, destructive, painful impact that racism is having on our country and the world then join with me and take to your knees in prayer. Pray for an end to racism in your congregations, synagogues, homes, workplaces, in the parks, whenever you see violence breaking out around you, or you hear hateful, divisive speech, pray. Church leaders lead prayer vigils. Church members pray alone in your small groups. Join with me and just pray, pray, pray, that God would melt the hearts of those who have hardened their hearts to people who are different from themselves. Pray that we stop seeing color and start seeing each other as human beings endowed by our Creator, with the right to live out lives in the peaceful pursuit of God’s dream for us, to be a holy nation set apart for a divine purpose, to point the lost and erring to the Savior. We have the tools to win this fight. Greater is He who is in us than he who is deceiving the world.