Next Steps

In Luke’s gospel (10:25-37), we find a compelling example of how God wants us to see one another; it’s called the “Parable of the Good Samaritan.” It is in many ways a classic story of overcoming hate and indifference with redemptive love, the kind of love that shatters racial barriers. Turns out it’s the kind of thing we need today. We are hurting. Hate is on the rise. Racial tensions are building and threatening to undermine not only our civility, but also our witness to this generation. Why do I say that? Well, Christians have for the most part ignored the issue of injustice and racism. We are either too busy or too distracted. Instead, we have passed it to the government or social institutions to deal with. But that’s a mistake. Nothing is more urgent to the Christian witness than the work of reconciliation. (1 Corinthians 5:18-19) The world cannot believe us until we embrace the work of reconciliation. In Christ, God has broken down the walls of division (Ephesians 2:1-19) but many are seeking to rebuild them. But if we stand by silently, or participate passively, we effectively condone division and, in so doing, we subvert the gospel. In that same parable, Jesus is teaching us that Christians should be neither silent nor passive on this issue. Love is active. Love seeks to restore what’s wrong.

Monday: Love others like you love God. (Matthew 22:37-39)
Tuesday: See others as objects of God’s love. (John 3:16, 4:1-42)
Wednesday: Embrace diversity. (Acts 10:34-35; Malachi 2:10)
Thursday: Recognize our commonality. (Galatians 3:28; Revelation 5:9)
Friday: Look for character, not color. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Saturday: Work to reconcile across racial lines for Jesus’ sake. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Until we do these things we can’t say we’ve tried to establish God’s kingdom on earth. Until then, the gospel is not good news to a watching world. Here’s the thing: Jesus did not die to make us rich, safe, or powerful! He died to make us holy and, until we grasp that, we will trivialize the Gospel. Until we do the uncomfortable work of seeing the intrinsic value in others who are not like us, we have yet to see what God sees in us. Now, let’s be reconciled!

Being reconciled with you,
Pastor Briant