Hang in here with me, okay?
Every single time I get done speaking to a group of people about the need for diversity and racial reconciliation in the church, someone asks me — every single time — “What can I do?” Sometimes, it sounds like this: “What can I do?” And sometimes, it sounds like this: “What can I do?”
I don’t know your unique makeup or situation or level of awareness or on-boardness. But, I can tell you my story. I can tell you some of the things that have worked for me and some of the things that haven’t. I can tell you where I get the most frustrated and where I find the most hope.
And, I can listen to your story.
I can also tell you this: our racial divisions are not the only places where the church fails to model the oneness we are made for, and that Jesus desires for us.
We have been breaking our backs, setting up walls of stone and drawing lines of division where we should be building bridges. And this, among those who follow Jesus, just like us. The Bible tells us in John 13 they — those who are watching, wondering what this Christ-following business is really all about — will know we are Christians by our love for one another. It doesn’t say we’ll be known by how many people we pack into our sanctuaries, or even by how many cool cups of water we offer to thirsty people, dusty from their journey through life. No. We will be identifiable to the world as people who follow Jesus, because of our love for each other. Even — and especially — the people who make us the most uncomfortable, and who are the most different from us.
On the night Jesus was betrayed, He prayed for us in the garden before His arrest. His prayer that night, was that we would be one.
There is a tug at our hearts for something better. There is a desire growing in the souls of those whose hearts beat to the sound of the Kingdom of God. This low hum rises up from the earth — the way radical things tend to do — a grassroots hunger to love in a way that makes the world sit up and take notice. This is the prayer Jesus prayed for us. The story of reconciliation is a golden thread, woven through the Good News, and connecting Genesis and Revelation and everything and everyone in between.
Today at incourage, I’m sharing thoughts from my upcoming book (well, from the draft of my upcoming book). At the end, I ask for your input, in the hopes your words will help shape where this book goes. My prayer is that this book answers your questions, and serves as a significant and helpful field guide on your journey toward oneness and reconciliation. I hope you’ll join me at incourage, and share your thoughts in the comments.