Scripture Reading: Acts 8:26-40 The eunuch asked Philip, ‘About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized? –Acts 8:26-40
There does not seem to be a lot of good news in our world today. As I write this, the world is responding to a terrible earthquake in Nepal with many dead and most without homes. A few days ago several refugees fleeing from Liberia were killed as the boat they were on capsized. And one more city in the United States has broken out in chaos this time following the funeral of a black man who died in police custody. There does not seem to be a more important time for the Body of Christ to follow Philips example and proclaim the Good News of Jesus.
We, of course, can do this and are doing this by responding in every way we possibly can to help the people of Nepal and to assure that our nation as a whole does what it can. The same could be said about the Liberian situation although it is not a natural disaster but one brought on by humans. The racism that is ripe in our own country is something we must deal with directly.
I do not know the actual facts about any of the cases that have flared up regarding the police and racism within the police. I do know that these are just the public showing of the undertow of racism across our land. I have had the privilege of working with police officers and know that the vast majority of those with whom I had contact were dedicated people with integrity. The problem is that it only takes one or two to light a fire when people are at the edge of their tolerance. I also know that racism is endemic. Our behaviors have been so deeply woven throughout our beings that we probably do not recognize our own racist’s actions or reactions.
We need to all join together in, first, seeking God’s forgiveness when we have been a part of furthering racism even when we did not know that was what we were doing. And then we need to take that road less traveled of exploring our own attitudes and actions and changing the ones that are detrimental to the flourishing of the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Prayer: Lord, help us confront that which is uncomfortable and change our ways of being to more closely match your way of loving. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.