“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized withwater, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” -Acts 1:4 & 5 (NIV)
Speak his name: George Floyd. #blacklivesmatter
This week we celebrate the birth of the church as we celebrate Pentecost. The church was born with the gift of the Holy Spirit to build unity, breakthrough barriers, and model radical inclusion. We need a Pentecost moment in the midst of the sin of racism in our world. Jesus empowered his followers to witness right where they were, and then to their neighbors and then even to their enemy. Our witness during COVID-19 has been love to neighbors of all races and faiths as we have shared grocery gift cards, lunches, and Friendship Feast with all in need. Come Holy Spirit.
As we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and move us beyond our comfort, I invite you to consider reading Jim Wallis book America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America and/or White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Both books will continue to allow the Spirit to do the work of racial reconciliation in us.
So often, we have defined racism as those who held a conscious dislike or hatred of someone because of their race. Based on that definition we are not racist. So we get frustrated when it’s suggested that we are racist or have work to do. When we define racism as occurring when a racial group's preference is backed by legal authority and institutional control. When white gun-toting militias can storm capital buildings and shout down authorities and then walk away but a black man suspected of forgery is killed at the hands of authorities, well then we all live in a country where racism is normal and we have a lot of work to do. Come Holy Spirit.
This is hard work, but this work done in love will make us better! The Holy Spirit has done this work in us before and can do it again. Come Holy Spirit, come!
Grace and peace.
Rev Dr. Duane A Anders (he, him, his)
P.S. Join us for online worship this weekend as we celebrate our 2020 graduates.