Read His Words Before Ours!
I’ve started and stopped the closing of this journey study multiple times over the last few weeks. Each time I began I felt pulled in a different direction and it wasn’t until I heard a sermon a few days ago, that spoke on this subject so beautifully, that it finally allowed the words to flow freely from my keyboard.
In November of 1954, in Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a sermon entitled “Transformed Nonconformist.” He preached this shortly after being installed as the church’s twentieth pastor, and would frequent this sermon often, as part of his traveling ministry. His sermon, as evidence by the title, dealt a great deal with Romans 12:2, but it also began to challenge racism within the church.
He shares that as Christians, we are citizens of Heaven, thrown out in the midst of an unchristian world, sent to love one another until the fullness of the Lord’s return.
Through this calling, we are sent to be ones that create an atmosphere of change. He gives the example of a thermostat and a thermometer. Thermometers, those who conform to the world, simply read the temperature, whereas thermostats, create an atmospheric change.
We, as Christians, should strive to change the temperature of our society. When we choose to live outside of the Gospel, we are refusing, by the sin of omission, to stand up for the rights of all mankind at the expense of our own comfort. Yet when we grasp the authority that the gospel welcomes everyone, no matter their race, we can look up and see the beauty, the diversity, in our world and welcome it into our home with open arms.
Dr. King states, “I have seen many white people who sincerely oppose segregation and discrimination, but they never took a real stand against it because of fear of standing alone.”
Can we jump back in time to Queen Esther for a moment?
When Haman realized that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage, he made it his mission to destroy all the Jews. When Esther heard the Decree of Susa that was written by Haman, Mordecai warned her, “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
What if Esther’s story stopped there?
What if she accepted what Mordecai said as the only way?
What if she obeyed the law and did not approach the king?
The good news is that her story, along with the Jew’s did not stop there. She humbly went before the king, risking death, and asked for him to revoke the decree.
Queen Esther was just one person.
I, am just one person.
And while I am not going before a king to beg for my people’s life,
I am a friend of those that are different than me.
On their behalf, I’m asking for color bravery from all those reading this.
May we no longer use the words color blind, for the blindness in this phrase has been used as a way of ignoring the problem. But color bravery, as Mellody Hobson states, empowers us to be comfortable with the uncomfortable conversation about race.
We touched on this a couple weeks ago, how Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
There is no room for racism when we are all ONE in Christ!
Let this Journey Study be a catalyst for you to start asking yourself the hard questions.
Am I being intentional in my diverse friend group to love them well?
To walk in their shoes?
To ask them what it is like living day-to-day?
Am I going out of my way to teach my children about the beauty in every person that surrounds them?
It’s okay if you answered no to those questions.
The good news is that we are creating a safe place right here for you to change them to a yes.
So, keep your head held high sister!
We’re all in this together!
“After this I looked, and behold,
A great multitude that no one could number,
from every nation, from all tribes, and peoples,
and languages, standing before the throne and the Lamb,
clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands….”
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!