The Common Good

Crossing the Racial Divide

Sojomail - March 29, 2012


"We still give food to people even when they say they don't want to pray." Paul Brock, founder of the non-profit Community Provisions of Jackson County, IN, which had its emergency food assistance from the federal government suspended due to volunteers asking recipients if they would like to pray. (Source: USA Today)

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Crossing the Racial Divide

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Trayvon Martin's slaying has ignited a national discussion on race and privilege.

Many of us recognize that Trayvon’s untimely death is not an isolated incident.

Racial profiling. Discrimination. Enmity. Suspicion. Intimidation. Fear. Hate.

For far too many Americans, these are everyday realities.

As Christians, we are called to fight injustice and work to heal the broken systems — and broken relationships — of the world. We act, with Jesus Christ, to bring about reconciliation — between people, people groups, communities; within (and between) organizations, institutions, and social systems.

Jesus radically broke with the prevailing culture and paradigms of his day. He reached across social, cultural, religious, and ethnic boundaries. He built bridges, spanned the gap, and reconciled us to each other and to God.

Too often, we — his Church, his bride, his hands, feet, and voice in the world — have failed to follow in the steps of Jesus. Rather than breaking down walls, we erect new ones or reinforce those that have begun to crumble.

Trayvon's death is tragic, unjust, and an outrage. His parents' grief is unfathomable. Tragically, the Martins are only one example of how the sin of racial injustice lives on in our nation.

Our faith compels us to not languish in grief, but respond with repentance, a repentance that not only acknowledges the wrong that has been done, but also works to heal the wounds and create a world where such injustices are much less likely to happen in the future.

It is too late to bring Trayvon back, but it is not too late for the members of the Body of Christ to act in obedience to his call and become a people of shalom.

To that end, for the next seven days Sojourners is offering Crossing the Racial Divide, a 52-page resource and discussion guide for churches and small groups, as a free download through our website.

It is our hope and prayer that this four-session curriculum will be a blessing to your family and faith community, and challenge you to tackle head on issues of race and racism wherever you encounter them.

In God's Kingdom, no 17 year old, regardless of race, is ever cut down by a bullet in the street. In God's Kingdom, no young person ever faces death before their time.

But we live with the tension that the Kingdom is here but not yet.

May that sacred tension, no matter how difficult, always compel us to deeper places — both in thought and action.

To download a FREE digital copy of Crossing the Racial Divide, CLICK HERE.

Want to go even deeper? Click HERE to purchase the more extensive hard copy of Crossing the Racial Divide for $7 through the Sojourners Store.

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