Black Lives Matter.
I have been reflecting on this statement a lot because it is daily presented to me and I hope continues to be presented to me.
I live in Canada where we like to think prejudice doesn't exist. It may not be as visible or dramatic as what we see in the States but it exists. I know because I grew up beside it in Nova Scotia. I grew up with friends who were black but it doesn't mean I understand what they went through. I saw it, felt it, but I did not experience it. I was never suspected of anything when I walked in a store or down the street. I may not have been rich but compared to my friends I live a privileged life because I wasn't black. It is exactly what they are trying to tell people today.
I also saw it in Europe when I lived there. My best friend was black. I could cross between countries there without even a glance but when we traveled together we were stopped every time. Prejudice and judgement are not unique to the US, although for the moment it is grabbing our attention.
This speaks to the horrible nature that is at the core of being human. We are filled with fear, hate, and prejudice. We are only lying to ourselves if we truly believe that we are free of these things. Just look at the response people have to the statement "Black Lives Matter". To say that "All Lives Matter" is ignoring the fact that our societies believe that some lives have greater value than others, and what is considered valuable depends on the country in which you live. Prejudice exists in every country even if it is a different group of people because of colour, race or religion. But this must not be true of the Church.
Although no follower of Jesus is perfect we must be aware of our sins to give them over to Jesus. To admit our prejudices and hatreds is the first step to have them healed and changed. Just because that is what we grew up with and what we were before Jesus does not mean that is who we are after our re-birth in Jesus. We are a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come. The Word is filled with what we are suppose to be growing into but there is one truth that should describe the atmosphere of the family of Yahweh:
There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
This is our family, under the head of Jesus, united by the Spirit, considering each other more important than ourself:
Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
There is no skin colour attached to this because the Kingdom of God is about the heart and our relationship with Jesus. We don't judge by sight but by the Spirit of God. If we are still judging people by skin colour then there is something wrong with us. Either we don't have a relationship with Jesus or we are failing to grow into maturity.
We can understand what is taking place in the world because of the sin nature of humanity, but if it exists within the Church it is an illness that must be dealt with by love, teaching and prayer. We tell the world the answer to all these things is Jesus but they aren't going to believe us unless we are willing to allow our hatred and prejudices to be corrected and healed.
Everyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. (1 John 3:15)