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How Can the Church Address Racism?

How Can the Church Address Racism?

This seems to be increasingly becoming the question of our age. This is not a simple issue to even begin to address as it is as old as humanity and as complex as humanity as well. Of course now that I say that, I also have to admit to myself that the issue of how we human beings are called to treat one another is not complicated because Jesus laid it out very clearly and simply.

Jesus said time and time again to love our neighbor and to love our enemy. That means we are called to love and treat everyone with respect even when we don’t get that respect and love in return. It is that simple, but despite it’s simplicity, living this out is not easy. It is very difficult.

My wife and I are constantly speaking to our five year old about the importance of treating others with respect. It’s not an easy concept to embrace for him or for any of us.

At a recent Presbyterian conference in Atlanta, GA Allen Boesak, a South African native, spoke to about 600 Presbyterian church leaders about the pressing need for our churches to be actively working for reconciliation and justice. He was speaking specifically about racial justice and reconciliation.

In his words: “The more I say justice, I have to say Jesus. The more I say Jesus, I will have to say justice.”

That is our challenge here at Bryn Mawr. In our daily conversations with one another we have the opportunity to hold others up with the same love and grace which we would want to be held with.

Let’s keep having difficult conversation regarding what it means to love one another as Christ loves us and to open ourselves up to the work of the Spirit of God amongst us. That is who this pastor longs for Bryn Mawr to be. To be a people who foster an environment of reconciliation and justice for all people.

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