The last couple of weeks have been nothing short of surreal. If you had told me even six months ago, that white supremacists and other hate groups would be the focus of our news cycle, I would never have believed you. We were supposed to be past all this. Racial tensions and misunderstandings were supposed to be solved by the activism of the 1960’s. We put laws into place to cement our understanding of the wrongness of our past ways.
So what happened?
The simple answer is this: Humanity happened.
I can’t remember where I read it, but years ago I came across a quote that basically said that if you take away what we fight about in the morning, by lunch we’ll be fighting about something else. The Bible puts it this way, “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).
Every single day, we who call on the name of Jesus for salvation, must also daily carry our cross and submit ourselves to God. It is the greatest of challenges. People have been violent, murderous, mean, ugly, and all manners of sinful, in a great many ways and places. This past week I read an article from NPR that reported that since 9/11, more people have died at the hands of white supremacists than at the hands of terrorists. And yet, we know very little about that, do we?
God’s answer for humanity is a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus, God the Son, gave his life for us as an atonement for sin (and yes, even the sin of racism), and God raised him up to life on the third day. The grace of God that is now available to all who believe by faith.
But that grace does not mean that we are suddenly changed and perfect. We will make mistakes. We will need to repent. We will struggle. So, each day, and sometimes even each moment – we must actively seek God’s help to live in a way that allows us to love God and love our neighbor. As scary as these days are, the world needs to see us live out our faith more than ever, that we would point people to the One capable of reconciliation.