In the midst of all the racial divide going on in the country, a photo was recently released depicting a group of black kids playing in the streets of Brooklyn, NY in 1948. Although segregation was still strict and enforced, these five kids appeared to be having the time of their life, not caught up with politics or corruption. In fact, these kids can give us as Americans a refresher of how to make a negative into a positive.
Yes, racism still exists. Yes, our president is not doing very much to reconcile the racial divide. However, as we see with this picture, if you are making sure that you and yours are in a happy and joyous place, the problems around you start to recede more are more.
As Christians, we cannot depend on the decisions of a person to determine our joy. Galatians 5 gives us the fruit of the Spirit. Not as optional features to live by, but as requirements. No matter what this country is going through, we are the light of the world, and a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. The only way we can hide is if we decide to hide ourselves. God wants his people to stand up and show the world what it looks like to overcome adversity. Jesus is the prime example of that.
Sometimes, we spend too much time being concerned about what is happening around us than what is happening inside us. If we let bitterness and unforgiveness camp in our hearts and minds, we lose sight of the very fact that waking up and functioning are privileges that we as Americans have – especially Christians.
In America, if we go out in the street and yell “Jesus,” we would probably get a few chuckles and harmlessly weird looks. However, in states where Christianity is forbidden, that same action would lead to an execution. Let’s take full advantage of the ability to stand together as believers of Christ in this country, and let Him take the wheel.
One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 133:1, which states, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” This is a clear message of God’s desire for people to walk together with one common goal to serve Christ and love others.
Paul puts it this way in Romans 12:
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.”
This alone ruins the notion of a White Supremacist or a KKK member proclaiming to live as a Christian. It also challenges the Christian to forgive these people, even in their radical state of skewed thinking. As Todd Bishop said today, “You can’t call yourself a Christian and be a racist too!”
Overall, we as Christians have a mission to fulfill, and we need each other to fulfill it. The light becomes uncomfortable to those who walk in darkness. Either they adapt to it and accept it, or walk away from it.