This sermon clip isn’t sufficient for our national time of need. But hopefully it will help.
Can I ask you to do more than watch and move on, but to press on in prayer for courage and compassion?
What to Ask
Ask for Christ-exalting courage to speak to the issues instead of skirting them. The racial divide is real and explosive. Speaking about it may seem like an invitation to light the fuse for a bomb that will blow up in your own face. You may wonder why anyone would risk the resulting third-degree burns. But here’s the counter question: Why would any Christian hide the light of Christ under a bushel of fear? The church is called to put the light of Christ in its prominent place on the nightstand of the nation. History should encourage us at this point. Was the racial hatred between Jew and Gentile hard in the first century? Yes. Was it too hard for the gospel to handle? No.
Ask also for Christ-exalting compassion. This compassion comes at a cost to us (weeping with those who weep), but it came to us at an incomparably great cost to Christ (his incarnation and death). No religion comes close to Christianity here. What other religion has a God who cried and bled for his enemies? How, then, can Christians settle for knowing the suffering of others from a safe intellectual distance? As we rest together at Calvary, receivers become reflectors. In Christ, we can reflect to others the compassion we have received from him.
And in Christ, our tears are tinged with pain, with beauty, with hope.
There’s pain in our tears. The events of recent days stir deep waters in a national well. We’re moved to mourn the fact that the church in this country condoned and even defended slavery and segregation, and sowed seeds of suspicion and distrust. The taste of today’s bitter fruit can’t be separated from the seeds planted in the past.
There’s beauty in our tears. Do you see beauty in the unity of a multi-ethnic church mourning together? Black inner-city mothers who fear their children may not make it home at night should be able to weep on the shoulders of those who do n’t look like them—those who join their tears instead of judge them. We aim much higher than hashtags. Multi-ethnic hugs accomplish more than hashtags ever could. Liking something on social media can’t compare to loving someone in your local church.
There’s hope in our tears. Our tears are prophetically charged with the promise that they are temporary. They have an expiration date. We weep together with the hope of glory—God will wipe away all of our weeping when we see his glory face to face.
Lead the Way
Christians, we must lead the way. The cross and resurrection launched a multi-ethic family with a glorious racial profile: every tongue, tribe, people, and language. The best the world can do is say to each ethnicity, “I tolerate you as different.” But the church can say to its members from each ethnicity, “I love you as family.”
Why stop short with racial tolerance when Christ purchased racial reconciliation?
Christians can go to higher places than the governor’s mansion. We can boldly gather at the throne of God. Our nation’s racial valley of dry bones cannot spring to life without the Spirit’s power. Let us press on in praying for fresh anointing and times of refreshing.