WE ALL BELONG TO GOD / NO PLACE FOR RACISM
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (Psalm 100:1-3)
“Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” This verse from Psalm 100 is one of a number of places in Holy Scripture where we are reminded that we all belong to God.
Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Baha’is, members of any other faith, atheists, agnostics - we all belong to God.
Americans, Koreans, Mexicans, Iranians, Syrians, Israelis, Egyptians, the Sudanese, South Africans, the British, Indians, Pakistanis, Norwegians, Germans, the Japanese and Chinese, Russians, Peruvians, Venezuelans, Dominicans, Barbadians, Jamaicans, and every other nationality - we all belong to God.
Straight, gay, lesbian, transgender, questioning - we all belong to God.
Black, white, and people of any other skin color - we all belong to God.
None of us is better or “superior” because of our skin color, because of our religion, because of the country where we were born. We are all the beloved of God.... at one point or another, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) ... there are plenty of times when we need to repent of our thoughts, words, and actions... we ALL stand in need of God’s grace.
There is no place for racism in the Church, for we are all one in God, one in Christ, one in the Spirit, and we - of all people - are called to love our neighbors as ourselves and love our enemies.
No one should be thought of as an enemy just because he or she is of a different race, has a different skin color, is of a different ethnic group, belongs to a different faith, or is a different gender or has a different sexual orientation from my own. To think or act upon such beliefs would not be “Christian” behavior. Before he was arrested and crucified, Jesus was very clear that we are to love one another as he loves us. There are no exceptions when it comes to those who God is calling us to love. Love is the reason that we all have been put on this earth.
People of faith must speak out against racism and also be willing to take long and hard looks at ourselves. To the extent that we participate in spreading any racial stereotypes, to the extent that we prejudge, attack or abuse others based on race, ethnicity, or skin color, we must repent. And that means we must change our ways and ask God to transform our hearts, our minds, our souls... our very ways of thinking and being. All that is required for our transformation to occur is for us to be willing to cooperate with the purposes of God, for God is in the transformation business.
In THE BOOK OF JOY, both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu talk about recognizing the truth that we are all one humanity. And both of these men have had many more reasons to be hateful of their fellow man than most of us. But they don’t hate; they love. They have forgiven and continue to forgive... they wish good for their enemies. They have developed what the Dalai Lama calls “warm-heartedness.”
Yes, the only race that God wants to love and save is the human race.
Let us follow in Jesus’ steps and participate in the only revolution that counts for anything - the revolution of love. Let us pray for God’s daily infusion of grace, so that we all develop warm hearts.