Psalm 34:14 says, “seek peace and pursue it.”
Isaiah 1:17-18 says, “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlett, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
As followers of Jesus, we have an obligation to “seek peace” not quarrels. We are not charged to win arguments (no matter how theological they are), we are charged to go to people that look different, think different, and worship different and then we are to offer them the Gospel of peace ( Acts 1:8, John 14:27, Ephesians 6:15). We can follow Jesus’ lead in this. He stood silent as he was accused, he washed Judas’ feet knowing that he’d betray him to death and he was known for crossing all types of social boundaries to display the love of God (sharing the Gospel was his goal).
We all have an obligation personally, to take the initiative and reach out to our black brothers and sisters and tell them we love them, we are here for them, and sit and listen as they describe their struggles and then actually stand with them. I hope you will do so soon if you haven’t already.
Here are at least 2 steps we will take to model diversity among the Kingdom of God and to show that we value life:
1. We hope to have joint worship services with another predominantly black congregation and a Zomi Church (Ricardo Barber and I are planning to gather multiple times over the next year as well as Muana Khuptong and his church from Zomi near India).
2. My family will walk with Woodstock Residents this Friday at 5pm to show support for black lives. I hope you will plan to join us! This walk will start at the Episcopal Church and end at 52nd.
I consider it an honor to stand for life that is created in the image of God and model peaceful love and unity.
Grace and peace to you.