Today the current moments in our nation can either make or break us!We are a divided country, racially, politically, and socio-economically. With many just barely hanging on and surviving due to COVID-19!( Coronavirus)!
Satan is having a field day of killing, stealing and destroying but why give him the last laugh to thrive in dysfunction, mistrust, and hatred, bitterness and help his kingdom flourish?Well, what is the answer then? I believe it has to start with those of us who profess to be Christians, to strive and follow in his footsteps in a dark world!
We have to come to the forefront and demonstrate the qualities of the One we claim to follow, Jesus Christ. We can’t be silent. As Dr. King said many years ago, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!” But we can’t go forward with judgmental, bitter, spirits. Technology. I first learned how to write the name WAMBUI” on the dirt, under the African Skies. Yet today I use a computer as a tool for teaching as well as for ministry. Though I am a digital immigrant, now I cannot imagine a world without internet. Can you?
Are parents included? Absolutely, ” charity begins at home.”It’s a trickle down effect:God, Parent and leaders with dedication to teaching, modeling and practicing truth in love.God is love and light and in him there is no darkness.We seek to love,starting from our ”
Jerusalem “homes, our children and our neighbors well and to make Christian disciples of all nations, we prayerfully and actively pursue ethnic unity and reconciliation with humility, gentleness, patience, grace, biblical truth, and love (Eph 4:1-4, 15, 32; Col 3:12-15; 4:6).
The pursuit of Christian unity in the midst of diversity has its roots within the Triune nature of God. The Scripture declares that the Lord is a God of peace, not disorder (Rom 15:33; 1 Cor 14:33; Phil 4:9). Therefore, unity and diversity can coexist in harmony because it is exemplified within the Triune God
(Matt 3:16-17; John 14:26-27; 16:5-15; 17:10, 21-22). For example, when the Lord created those who would bear His image (the imago dei), He created one human race composed of two genders: male and female (Gen 1:26-27), and this the Lord deemed very good (Gen 1:31). An “image” should reflect the character and qualities of that which it represents. Thus, the oneness of humanity and the distinction of the two genders ensured that human beings properly “imaged” the unity and diversity within God.
We can be proactive In the spirit of unity And it can’t be just the African -American, African churches (Kenyan, Tanzanian, Ghanian, Nigerian to name but a few), Baptist , Evangelicals but ALL churches at the forefront taking a Stand for justice racial reconciliation and coexistence.
Racism is Sin!
Therefore, unity does not equal uniformity.
Sin is defined as any word, action, and/or desire that violates the word of God and/or conscience and alienates us from the Lord. We sin by actively breaking God’s Word or by notperforming what is commanded of us in God’s Word. Rather than reflecting divine beauty and peace, our God-given distinctions in personhood, gender, and ethnicity have been sinfully twisted to serve as instruments of division and hostility. This human failure to reflect God’s glory rightly and to represent His image accurately assaults the very character of God. Because of His goodness, God simply cannot let false imagers abide (Ps 100:5; 107:1; Hab 1:13; Nahum 1:2; Rom 1:18; 1 Pet 1:14-16).
Unity and diversity should not be viewed as an “either-or” but as a “both-and.”In an attempt to press for unity, many within society and the church have tried to function as if they are “color blind” when it comes to engaging those of different ethnicities. While their efforts may be well-intentioned, they are also misguided. The Lord created people of different colors, complexions, and ethnicities. We should see and honor His creative work and give glory to the Creator for what He has done. We should see the distinctions and honor them as reflections of divine glory: He creates one human race (thereby establishing the unity of His image bearers) with different ethnicities (thereby cementing the diversity of His creative order).The Lord commanded that His people be one as the Triune God is one (John 17:11, 20). As each member of Godhead retains His individual personhood while sharing full deity, different groups maintain their ethnic distinctiveness while sharing full humanity.
Promotion of peace and Unity
Brothers and sisters who fully agree on the need for ethnic unity can, and often will, disagree on how to accomplish that unity. Believers must rely upon wisdom, prayer, and love in order to achieve diversity in a way that honors God and promotes peace (Eph 4:1-7; James 1:5; Rom 12:9-12; 1 John 4:11). Since God creates all people in His image, He therefore gives all “ethnic groups the same status and unique value that comes from being His image bearer.”
Christ the great Reconciler
Christ, the Great reconciler, is the light of the world (John 1:9; 8:12), and He has called a people unto Himself, the church, who reflect His image by serving as lights in the world (Matt 5:14-16).Now, every person can be reconciled to God through the lifesaving blood of Jesus Christ (Gal 3:26-29; Col 1:19-20; 1 John 2:1-2). As the Lamb of God, Jesus takes away the sins of the world and gave Himself as a ransom for all men and women, regardless of ethnicity (John 1:29; 1 Pet 1:19; 1 Tim 2:5-6). The Lord lauded the faith and righteous acts of Gentiles (Luke 4:24-30; Luke 10:25-37), and he called His people to proclaim His Gospel message to all nations for His glory (Matt 28:18-20).
The Christian cannot and must not be silent in the face of ethnic prejudice. As she proclaims the Gospel to all nations (Mark 13:10; Rev 14:6), the church must perform her duty and call sin for what it is: sin. While the Lord has given us ethnic distinctions by His own sovereign choice, He also affirms that our heavenly citizenship dwarfs any other allegiance to country, tribe, or nationality (Phil 1:27; 3:20; Mark 11:17).
Whether we battle ethnic superiority within our own hearts (the flesh), with the larger culture and societal structures (the world), or against our old foe (the devil) who brings disunity and hatred toward others (Eph 2:1-3)
Ambassadors Of Christ
As ambassadors for Christ, we must represent Him faithfully as ministers of reconciliation and press toward godly unity and fellowship with brothers and sisters from all backgrounds (1 Cor 1:10; 2 Cor 5:18-21; Eph 4:1-6; Gal 3:28; Col 3:11). The pursuit of reconciliation is not easy; it requires sacrifice, suffering, prayer, and toil (Luke 9:23-26; Col 1:24-29; Eph 6:18). It consists in viewing others as more important than ourselves (Phil 2:3), serving as a slave to all because we are slaves to Jesus Christ (Rom 6:15-23; 1 Cor 9:19-23), forgiving one another as Christ has forgiven us (Mark 11:25; Col 3:13), and embracing fellow brothers and sisters of different ethnic or social standings (Phm 1:10-20).
What Matters Most!
At the final consummation, God will display the beauty and grandeur of His creative and redemptive work. According to Rev. 7:9, the Apostle John sees “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” In addition, that multitude cries out with a loud voice,
“When [different ethnic groups] unite in worship to God, the beauty of their praise will echo the depth and greatness of God’s beauty far more than if the redeemed were from only a few different people groups.”[xix]
Parents Role in Reconciliation
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”Deuteronomy 11:18-19
“Do as I say, not as I do” to children in one way or another. Sometimes, it’s not such a bad thing to communicate to our children hard truths!We hope our children won’t make the same mistakes we made in life, and we want them to do better than we did in widening the gap of tribal and racial inequalities!
Even in the difficult times we need to summon the strength to choose joy in our lives even when we feel otherwise and nothing makes sense! Quoting the words of Dr.David Jeremiah: “We sometimes lie in bed at night, surrounded by darkness, longing for sleep, but consumed with our thoughts and questions. The psalmists, especially David, were candidly honest about their literal and spiritual dark nights. David made good use of his sleepless nights, crying out to God for relief and answers (Psalm 22:2; 42:8). And he relied on the natural order of things to remind him that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). If you are in the midst of your own dark night, use the time wisely. If there are tears, let them water the words you pour out to God, remembering that joy comes in the morning.
Lucy Wanjiru Watani-Simiyu