Racial tensions have boiled up in the United States in recent history. For many people, the struggle with racial divide has never stopped, and for many others, they simply were oblivious to it. However, increasing amounts of reports and footage of racially motivated violence and disparaging violence from law enforcement against people of color has enraged millions across the nation.
It feels like the racial divide in this country has grown larger than it has in years. And as people of the church, we have a role to play in closing this division.
All of us are made in the image of God
“God spoke: ‘Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature.”
- Genesis 1:26 (MSG)
Let’s never forget that in the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible, God states that He creates humans in His image. This means ALL humans are made as reflections of God’s image, not just a select few.
All humans are precious in the eyes of God and made in His image. We must remember that when we look at someone else and feel ourselves judging them for their appearance or skin color.
All of us are loved by God
Jesus came to fulfill God’s plan of burning bridges between Him and mankind, making salvation free for all and the ability to have a relationship with Him free for all. Churches must remember to teach that everyone is loved by God, even those we disagree with or those who look different.
All of us are made to love each other
“Jesus said, ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.” This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: “Love others as well as you love yourself.” These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.’”
- Matthew 22:37-40 (MSG)
Of the two greatest commandments issued by Jesus, the commandments that all other commandments hang off of, one is to love your neighbor like you love yourself. This does not refer to your next-door neighbor. Of course, they’re included, but what Jesus means is that it is our duty to love our fellow mankind like we love ourselves, and that all other triflings of the Law will be fulfilled under this.
Love your neighbor. It doesn’t matter what they look like or if they come from a different part of town than you. Love them in action, not just words. Build community with them, welcome them and serve them.
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