Parable of the Talents: To whom much is given, much is expected.
You are I have been given the absolute best gift, a life in Christ. God’s expectation of us is to lead by living this as a community of faith, the body of Christ, the church.
Far too many years the church has been working to please and be congruent in the world, yet we are called to be in the world and not of the world.
For too many weeks I have come before you acknowledging the reality of division in our denomination and world and the world has convinced the church that it too is to be guided by politics. This is not our calling.
Our calling is to be the moral voice, and backbone that informs and shapes the world. It is this higher goal, the greater gift, the largest sum of talents that God is calling us to be FOR the world.
So when we see the terrible injustice of racism in the world around us we need to see it as God sees it and not just a single politic talking or fighting point.
Racism is the abuse of power over another person or group of people based on the color of pigment in the skin, and/or the perceived value of a different culture.
The reality is that there is one race, the human race. God sees us all as children of God’s creation.
The world divides us for purposing of power and control with the goal of control and self-interests.
So, what are we to do?
Protest and Signaling, raise awareness. With great solidarity we want those who have no voice to be heard and held up. The origin of the BLM was not to say that lives black persons are the only lives that matter but call for black persons to be valued as others are also valued.
The difficult part is that the message has become a political fund raising, power brokering, leveraging organization that uses racism as its power source, which is nearly the same as the racism they are supposed to be fighting.
Here is the test about ending racism. If one group of people are using another group of people to gain power over them in the name of race, it is racism.
It’s would thing to be a noisy gong and clashing cymbals making waves, protesting and gaining attention. The more vital is what we do after the light is turn on and everyone see what is dark and light.
Have you experienced racism? I have and I am a white southern male.
As a pastor working with a near by black pastor who was starting a new church in the community. (a community that had doubled in size in three years to have 95% black citizenry.)
My white church was less than 200 members, had ample facilities for the small black congregation to meet on Sunday evenings at our building. The other congregation offered to rent and pay the entire year’s utilities for the opportunity to meet at a time the white congregation no longer used the building. It appeared to be a win-win.
My administrative council met to discuss and vote on this proposal for shared ministry. It was the first agenda item. The other pastor and I laid out the plan and the chair of the SPRC said, (and I quote) “There is no way those (n*word)are going to have the building over my dead body. Put that in the minutes.” He followed that with this: “Not only do I reject this proposal, I propose that we reduce the pastor’s salary by a 1/3 effectively immediately for suggesting this, all in favor?” They had a secret ballot and voted 15-1 not to accept the proposal and to indeed reduce the salary immediately. My DS did not offer support and said I should have known better. I moved to a smaller church. All of ordination piers to this day make more and have more contributed into their retirement, but none of them have make the same choices I have made.
(I share this not to make you feel a particular way about me, but show that DOING the right thing effects our live-in ways the world does not support)
It’s one thing to talk about racism it is another go with the consequences of making the stand. The answer is not making a louder voice, it is taking intension steps toward being the community of faith God has created, saved, calls and empowers us to be if we are will.
The frustrations that run so high come from what we are shown in the media. The media does not show us the hundred of black persons being killed in cities like Chicago every year.
The choice to see only certain example of injustice will never solve the problems of racism.
As every sincere research person in every discipline of study will affirm that any problem is simply one variable, not just one symptom, not only one factor. Racism is not only about skin color. It is about evil, misuse of power, corruption, deception, as well as economics, education, opportunity, and ideologies.
While having better laws, politicians and law enforcement in place does not guarantee the absence of evil, corruption and deception. And while we can promote better education, opportunities and economics, there is no certainty that evil, corruption and mis-use of power will be held accountable.
We are a globe community of sinners. At times we are all guilty, evil, prideful, power-hungry, selfish.. right? There many parts: Laws, leaders, enforcement, education, opportunities:
But there is something that need to be the foundation of all these and it is not something governments and civil organizations can solve.
It is singularly God who is needed. The core, root of racism is a failure of humanity to trust and follow God.
The answer is for God’s people to recognize God’s higher calling is not only entrusted to use through Jesus Christ, it si
But for better understanding, say that all the right people and rules are in place. The world, our society, our communities are expected to live at this higher standard… and here is how we get to the ACTION phase of dealing with Racism:
1. Take MLKjr at his dream and stop seeing each other as a white person or a black person. See each other as people.
2. To continue to use these words is a simple way to keep racism alive. (Green boy story)
a. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9
b. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Philippians 4:6
c. And do everything with love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
d. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
e. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7
3. As a community we become KOINONIA – “drawn together by intimate participation in Christ.”
In the weeks ahead we will explore what it means to be KOINONIA as Rock Spring UMC.
I ask you to pray this prayer for yourself, the church and the world. “Holy Spirit, draw us together as we participate in fellowship and community in Jesus Christ.”
Where we meet and share Christ we will not find the racism has any power for we are one in Christ, one in fellowship, and one in life.
Lk 14 Racism has no power in Christ
Parable of the Talents: To whom much is given, much is expected.