Today in the United States we celebrate the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means, Martin Luther King Jr. is honored as a formative figure in the fight for civil rights.
As we remember and celebrate his life today I’d like to share with you an excerpt from a pastor friend’s blog directly working in the area of racial reconciliation. Dr. Alvin Sanders works for Reach National, a ministry of the EFCA denomination, specifically in the area of African American Ministries and he shares in a recent blog the power of the gospel as the central force in bringing reconciliation to issue of race.
The Gospel Changes Everything
“Our pursuit is all about engaging every person’s complete being (spiritual, physical, intellectual, social, economic, etc.) with the life changing power of the gospel. We believe the gospel has the power to transform everything!
When the power that raised Christ from the dead invades our broken and sin enslaved life, it reconciles our relationship to God – bringing us into an intimate relationship with Christ. We joyfully submit to Christ reigning in our lives. As we do, He increasingly conforms us into His image and likeness.
As we are transformed, our relationships with people are transformed. We live in healthy friendships and marriages, as healthy families, in thriving communities. We live together in flourishing relationships with people who are different from us (ethnically, economically, generationally), enjoying each other, challenging each other and humbly learning from each other.
As we are transformed, it affects how we see work and how we steward and invest our resources, skills and influence in ways that promote God’s kingdom and glory. We are neither lazy nor are we workaholics finding our identity in our work. We are both wise and generous with the things God entrusts to us. We lead and manage in every sphere of society in ways that produce justice and equity for all people.
As we are transformed, we reflect God’s character and heartbeat for justice, righteousness and reconciliation in our individual lives, in such a way that it affects collective existence in the systems and structures we have the ability to influence.”
As our world continues to struggle with injustices and inequalities may we continually turn our faces to Jesus for wisdom, direction and healing. Race was God’s idea. He made us different on purpose and our differences are all part of His story of redemption. As with other issues of injustice (abortion, exploitation, gendercide) racism is a gospel issue and as followers of Jesus we are to reflect God’s heart in our swift response. (Malachi 3:5)
Jesus came to reconcile all things and all peoples back to himself. (Col. 1:20) Through the gospel may we find freedom, inspiration and courage to love, care and respect all peoples.
Take a moment today to pray:
- Ask for God’s spirit to build bridges of racial reconciliation in our world.
- Pray for the end of racial violence, exploitation and discrimination
- Ask God to bring healing to the families and lives of those who are directly affected by issues of racism.
- Pray for the leaders and front runners of these issues that they may continually turn their faces towards the gospel seeking wisdom, humility and truth from God.
- Pray for the church and the body of Christ that we may be people pursuing and reflecting unity and racial harmony
“But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”- Amos 5:24