The very first song I learned in Sunday School – even before I could read – began …
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world, …
It would only be another year or two that I would begin attending public school and would be in a classroom with other kids that were Hispanic, Native American, and African American. As I encountered them, the song I learned at church echoed in my mind and heart, and I knew that God loved all children, regardless of their ethnicity and/or nationality. In all my school days and adulthood, I have had friends and colleagues that are other ethnicities than me because of this belief.
Throughout my years and now it pains me to see anyone claiming superiority over another based on ethnicity and especially to see expressions of hatred and violence toward others. As a Christian, I find it appalling and tragic and know that it in no way reflects joyful people who try to live and love like Jesus.
The events last weekend in Charlottesville, VA are clearly tragic, and I believe all forms of racism are wrong. The notion that any group of people can make claims of superiority over another group based on a condition (ethnicity) that was not theirs or anyone else’s choice is absurd and does not reflect God’s intention of the reign of the Prince of Peace and for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
My challenge to anyone reading this is to model that peace and grace that God intends (and that we have already received!) and to specifically address expressions of racism as you encounter them in daily life. Indeed, they will know we are Christians by our love …