Resolving Racism Bible Study (RRBS)- Part 6 of Many
You probably know the story. Jesus’ disciples were impressed with how Jesus prayed. One day as they were sitting around one of them asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Now you would think that He would have begun a lengthy dialogue about the who, what, when, where, why and how of intercession. But He did not. He gave them a short and pithy example of prayer. Check it out
6:9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’Matthew 6
You are probably wondering. What is the connection between this classic model of prayer and racism? We have already addressed part of that in a blog post we called God Forgives like You Do. In that we addressed the forgiveness angle. Namely, that the prayer instructs us to pray- “Forgive us our debts as (in the same way) we also have forgiven our debtors.” Challenging stuff to be sure.
But the jest of our study today is centering around the fact that we are headed to a raceless family with the same Father. Check out this scene from heaven that describes our unity as humans worshipping before our Creator God and Father.
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;
10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
12 saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”Revelation 7
I have always loved the idea that floats in Christian circles about persevering through tough time. The sentiment goes something like this, “don’t worry, we know how the story ends—we win.”
In the context of racism, a similar story could be told. IN THE END THERE IS NO RACISM- JUST BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF CHRIST UNITED IN WORSHIP. At the throne scene there is a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues.
IN THE END THERE IS NO RACISM- JUST BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF CHRIST UNITED IN WORSHIP.
The things that separated on this planet no longer apply. Nationality, ethnicity, tribal faction, people groups or languages are swept away. In the future, the differences between Black, White, Hispanic, Asian and Native American just don’t matter that much.
The Lord’s Prayer has a few insights for us.
- He is our Father. When He says, “our Father”, who do you think the ‘our’ applies to? Black? White? Hispanic? Asian? Native American? We have unity under the term—He is “all of our’s” Father. Your Father and my Father. Maybe what we are really talking about is sibling rivalry. Any parent worth their salt hates it when their children fight among themselves. Our Father is no different. He hates it when His children can’t get along.
- Our Father is in heaven. His realm is far above this pittance of an existence we have on this fallen planet.
- His name is hallowed. He is famous. When we speak of Him, we should speak in hushed tones. To be hallowed is to be revered. He is worthy to be admired with all of our beings.
- We should desire to see earth work like heaven does. How long do you think racism would last if God’s will was done on earth like it is in heaven? For some odd reason, He has decided that His rule on earth would be one of love and man would voluntarily serve Him. And we are enabled to do our will and not His. Racism exists because we are following our wills not His.
Over the course of my life after I became a Christian in 1984, my thoughts have been more about who is in God’s kingdom more than race. To me that is the most important thing. How can we get the word out to people that Jesus loves them and wants them to spend eternity with Him?
I guess I have been guilty of overlooking some of the difficulties of race relations. A blind spot maybe. I don’t think I have purposefully overlooked it. I just didn’t see it right in front of me. But now as I observe it working out on the nightly news, I wonder what needs to happen to move us to the next step of peace between the races.
One idea is that maybe we need to be united under our Father in heaven and begin to act like His children and get along.