Just Like Jesus / 21 Days of Justice Week 3 (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: With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:6-8)
In New York Times bestselling author Jemar Tisby’s latest book, How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice, he notes a critical attitude we must have for the work of racial justice and reconciliation to begin.
According to a popular tale, The Times newspaper in London asked authors, “What’s wrong with the world?” Famous author G. K. Chesterton responded, “Dear Sirs, I am.” Chesterton’s succinct but pithy answer stays in circulation today because it articulates a profound truth: We are all part of the problem.
Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” This is the mindset we must have as we pursue racial justice as a way of life and not simply a pastiche of isolated actions. Fighting racism is ultimately about serving other people from a wellspring of love. A spirit of loving service has to be infused with a spirit of humility that puts the interests of others before our own.
To pursue racial justice, the critical attitude we must cultivate is humility - to listen and learn, yes, but also to admit that we, too, can act in racist ways. We must have the humility to realize that, in some cases, we have benefited from the racial status quo. White people must recognize with humility that, although life can be difficult for anyone, their skin color has not added to their hardships. People of color must recognize that, despite their life experiences, they can sometimes get it wrong when it comes to race.
What might our approach to racial justice and racial reconciliation look like if we took the same approach as G. K. Chesterton above? What about if we took to heart what is written in Philippians 2:3-4?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive us for intentional and unintentional sins that devalue people you have created. Help us to pursue social and racial justice and to serve others, across the color line, from a place of love and humility.