Happy Monday, Friends!
I’m continuing my series using the Nicene Creed as a prompt for my reflection. The next part of the creed says: “For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.”
There is a deep human desire to preserve one’s own life and the lives of people one loves. This is why martyrs don’t set out to be martyrs even if they know that their ministry is dangerous and why people think through the consequences of their actions before they act (well, perhaps most people…we all know that “one guy”). Regardless of our religion, theology, or respective lifestance, we prioritize our existence even if factors—both in our control and behind our control—challenge that existence.
As a White man who aspires to be anti-racist, it is difficult for me to ignore the nearly daily assaults on the lives of people who are Black and Brown. While racism is the United States’ original sin, the real sin is that it’s so easy for us—yes, it’s entirely likely that everyone reading this reflection is White—to ignore racism and never be bothered that Black and Brown lives are being lost each day. As the world prepares for war in Eastern Europe, we have another tragedy to divert attention away from what is happening here in the United States. Jesus’ act of sacrifice was not only salvific, it was a political statement against all forms of oppression by both the government of his day and all oppressors throughout time. The Blood of Christ calls out against sins across time. Let us remember that those sins continue and that they are often committed not just by us, but by people acting on our behalf.
Let us pray: God of many names and races, we confess the sin of racist exclusion, the abuse of power to oppress and demean. May those of us who have ourselves experienced exclusion be the first to speak up for others. May we create spaces for reconciliation. We pray for our churches. May they become places of reconciliation, where each human soul is valued, and where equality in Christ is a reality in our midst. Forgive us those times where we do not live out our calling as your people. May our churches model the new humanity of Christ to those in the communities where we live. (Adapted from Because Black Lives Matter – A Prayer)
Blessings, friends, on your week! Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.