From Race to G-Race (11/18/21)
Mark Barbee

What would happen if we gave our race problems to God?  If we added God to Race we would have G-Race.  We would understand that all ethnic groups are part of the same original human family.  Paul said, “From one man (Adam) he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth.”  Acts 17:26

Secondly, we should understand from Genesis that we all descended from the family of Noah and his three sons after the flood.  Paul went on to preach, “In God we live and move and have our being.”  Furthermore, we become one in Christ.  We are all one family, one race, one blood and in Christ we can be one in spirit.  That would be true unity between ethnic groups, regardless of skin tone.

We see glimpses of that unity in large Christian gatherings.  For the last fifty to sixty years we have seen unity in Billy Graham crusades, Christian musicians and concerts, Promise Keepers and many large gatherings of God’s people.  This should give us hope.  While some non-Christian elements in our society are stirring up racial division, the body of Christ continues to make progress.  In the last fifty years, many stereotypes have been broken in the Christian world.  Nor should we deny progress in the secular world.  

There is more opportunity than ever for people’s talents, regardless of ethnic background.  Sadly, some seek to take advantage of racial differences for their own agendas and power trips.  But when we add God in front of Race we have Grace.  That is a reality in Jesus.  Grace means loving all people the same.  That is why Paul once said, “In Christ there is no Greek or Jew, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and is in all.”  Colossians 3:11

The attitude of the early church set the stage in the beginning of Christianity to treat all men and women as equals.  We have not always done that well, but there is hope and progress through God’s Grace.  I attended a wonderful gathering of pastors at the statehouse last week that illustrated the coming together of men and women of faith from various ethnic communities.  It was beautiful.  It renewed my hope in the midst of troubled times.  The power of the gospel is still on display if you know where to look! 

Lord, thank you that in Christ we can be one.  We pray that churches will be a better reflection of the communities where they serve.  We pray that people will come to Christ for a unified worldview that transcends race and ethnic differences.  Thank you for Christian leaders in the black and Hispanic communities who see we have more in common in Christ than what may divide us.  

We pray that we can be more sensitive to ethnic differences and include all peoples in our Christian worldview.  Help us to help the helpless and be merciful to all.  Help us to look past skin tone and see people for their character, not their style or appearance.

Lord, Jesus prayed that we all be one in him and in the Father.  That is our prayer today as well, in Jesus’ Name.  Amen.