The following two posts were back-to-back in my Facebook feed today. I couldn’t help but see the irony of their juxtaposition. In the first post, white cops beat a black woman. In the second post, black children beat a white child.
Posting about racism on social media is completely understandable. I’ve done it. Racism is something we all deal with and all struggle to understand and deal with. These posts today reminded me that more must be done if we hope to increase understanding and empathy in our community.
Our well-intentioned actions may be counterproductive. Especially online.
The biggest barrier to addressing racism is segregation. It is fifty years after the Civil Rights Movement and we still have a largely segregated society. In some ways, we are even more segregated today than we were in 1965. Even in my small town, you can go your entire life without having a meaningful relationship or interaction with someone of a different ethnicity. I’ll be frank. The schools are segregated. Many restaurants are segregated. The athletic clubs are segregated. And of course… churches.
God, help us.
The first step is to build friendships across cultural lines. Yes, that means getting out of our comfort zones and opening ourselves up to being offended. Heaven forbid. Actually, heaven calls us to do just that.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (Ephesians 2:13-16 ESV)
Through the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross, the dividing wall of hostility has been broken down. He was beaten and bruised so that we can believe in him, no matter what our ethnicity, and be reconciled both to God and to others.
You’re invited to the next Reconciliation Roundtable discussion on March 22nd. This will be a time to speak face-to-face with our neighbors about this important and divisive topic.
Tuesday, March 22nd, 7-9pm
Parzell’s Cafe on Russell Street**
**Location subject to change.