Racial Reconciliation

Quite a bit of talk this past year has centered on whether or not America is ready for her first African American president. Last week we were reminded of Dr. King’s inspirational dream as we watched Barak Obama’s history-making acceptance speech.

As exciting as all of the current news is, our pastor reminded us something even greater this past Sunday.

As is our custom on the fifth Sunday of a month, we came together for Communion. To prepare, our pastor reminded us of the things that we want to emphasize at our church. For example, we want to emphasize the public reading of God’s Word, expository preaching (we want to “hear the Lion roar”), doctrinally sound and God-centered worship, and the gospel.

As he reminded us of the gospel, he looked down at the table set before us. He paused and looked at all of us. It seemed like an unusually long pause to me; I could tell he was thinking about something. Then, he did something totally unexpected.

He asked one of the black men in our congregation to come forward. Our pastor put his arm around him. He shared that he remembered how, as a boy in Montgomery, there were two water fountains, or two exits, or two restaurants. Each one with signs that read, “White Only,” and “Colored.” Yes, America has come a long way, but we still have work to do. The church hour is still considered the most segregated hour in America. However, at our church, we want to make sure everyone knows that there is one place where we can sit and eat in unity — the Lord’s table. We are one in Christ.

It was a moving demonstration of the gospel’s power to reconcile us, not only to God, but to one another.

Many seem to believe that electing an African American to be our president will mean that America has finally healed. While it would indicate tremendous strides in the right direction, it would not necessarily mean that all of our racial wounds are healed. Likewise, electing John McCain will not mean that we are still just as hateful as we were a generation ago. Either outcome will affect everyone differently. Some will be overjoyed; it will change the way they view America and the world. Some will be angry; it will change the way they view America and the world.

We can’t place our hope in an election. Our one sure hope for genuine reconciliation is the healing power of the cross of Christ.

4 Comments on “Racial Reconciliation

  1. That brought to mind something that happened in Africa….There was a man staying at our guest house who was a minister. We all ate in the same dining room, sharing together. At the end of his stay, he stood up and thanked us for eating with a black man! I was SHOCKED. The head of the missions team just said, “Of course you ate with us, you’re our brother in Christ!” I was practically in tears, thinking that he actually THANKED us for eating with him. I felt so…..humbled.


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