And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:6

As I read this scripture, the outstanding element is the emphasis on equality. Paul writing that Jews and Gentiles share equally and are part of the same body was inflammatory in his day. It has certainly lost that punch for the reader today. Except, has it really? As the events of the last week or so have unfolded, I believe that God is bringing to the forefront inequity that exists in our land, our neighborhoods, our churches and worst of all, in our homes!

The atrocity of the murder of George Floyd is absolutely unjust and unacceptable. There is nothing that makes it okay, no way to erase it or defend it. As I write this week, I continue to hear from God’s word that we are all part of the same body, we all have equal access to the resources of God as his children. We are all a part of the same spiritual body. But I don’t know or understand the disadvantages my black siblings experience in daily life. And that bothers me.

I don’t know what it is like to be denied because of the color of my skin. I don’t know how it feels to be mistreated because of the color of my skin. I don’t know what it is like to be avoided because of the color of my skin.

Empathy is feeling what someone else feels in a specific situation. Putting myself in your shoes and feeling what you feel. And to be honest, putting myself in the shoes of my black sisters is not comfortable. So I hurry back to my white shoes and, from this place of relative comfort, I offer platitudes for any injustice she might experience. But I like my white shoes.

In John 17, Jesus prayed for all people who would believe in him. He says this:

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me… May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

John 17:20-21, 23

It is the heart of Jesus for everyone who believes in him to be completely unified. It doesn’t say we have to all look the same, worship the same, talk the same, celebrate the same. It says he wants us to be unified! Just like Father, Jesus and Spirit are unified – all working together for the same end goal.

My nephew and his family spent the evening on Sunday with friends. Two little boys met for the first time and as they walked the rugged path, they clasped hands. This picture says it all…

I don’t know if I said this right but my heart is deeply saddened. Saddened by the racism that is alive and well in our country. I want to believe we are beyond that, that it is something that existed hundreds of years ago, something that died out when slavery was abolished. But it isn’t. It exists and it needs to be acknowledged, mourned and changed. I don’t know how to do it, but I want to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. Perhaps speaking out today is the beginning of change for me.

May we grasp the hand of those around us regardles of skin color or any other difference and walk the rugged path together. After all, we are better together!

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