Just Like Jesus / 21 Days of Justice Week 2 (Justice & Righteousness & Shalom): SATURDAY
With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Invocation: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Word: Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Phil. 2:3-7).
In 2017, in the wake of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, Professor Leo Sánchez from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis released a word on dealing with racism, titled “Racism, Dealing With It.” Below he talks about repentance and sacrifice.
The sinful flesh finds all kinds of sneaky ways to avoid dealing with racism and ethnocentrism. The best first response is simply to repent: ‘We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.’” It goes on to say that “In this cyclical rhythm of repentance, of contrition and absolution, Christians learn to live daily under the sign of their baptism into Christ, drowning the sinful flesh so that a new creature may rise every day…
Racism is an expression of egocentricity. It is a love of self which only loves those who look like self. It is a form of what Luther called our being curved in on ourselves. Service takes us outside ourselves, away from a misguided love of self and into the realm of neighbors who are different from us. We begin to see life in terms of the pain of others, including those whose race and ethnicity makes them the object of hurtful words and acts, and dare to speak on their behalf and defend them when they are portrayed in the worst possible light or their lives are threatened in some way—even if we suffer for it. No one said being a Christian is easy. (https://concordiatheology.org/2017/08/racism-dealing-with-it/)
In repentance, we ask Christ for forgiveness to the misdeeds of racism. Furthermore, we must step outside our comfort zone. We must “dare to speak” to shield those whose appearance differs from our own from hurtful words and actions.
Prayer: O Lord, gives us the same mind and spirit as our Lord Jesus: humble, sacrificial, and loving of others. Forgive us where we have sinned and enable us to forgive others also. By your Holy Spirit guide us into the ways of humility, especially through situations that deal with racism and segregation in our homes, churches, and cities. Amen.