Anyone who claims to live in God’s light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. It’s the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God’s light and doesn’t block the light from others. But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn’t know which end is up, blinded by the darkness.
First John 2: 9-11
Our world is reeling from the killing of George Floyd, just over a week ago. A black man being killed by a white police officer: this image triggers strong feelings about racism, and memories going back to the 1960’s, as well as other times throughout history.
Often, racist behavior appears to stem from the color of one’s skin. For many of those who are truly racist, the overriding concern in their lives is the darkness of someone else’s skin.
The Word of God tells us that our primary concern should not be about any darkness of skin color, but about the darkness in the human heart. Darkness, as it is used here scripturally, is a metaphor for sin and evil. Sin does not reflect the light of God. In fact, it is the opposite of light! We are called to something better than hate. We are called to love.
The other day, the Bellevue police chief was shown talking with a group of peaceful protestors. One asked him, “What does it mean to you to serve and to protect?” He said, “It means that I will lay down my life for you.”
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” John 15:13.
Jeana remembers growing up in Spokane in the late 60’s, when her sisters were in “Up with People!” They would sing a song which Jeana still remembers the words to:
“What Color is God’s Skin?”
Good Night" I said to my little son
So tired out when the day was done
Then he said, as I tucked him in
"Tell me, Daddy- What Color is God's Skin?"
What color is God's skin? What color is God's Skin"
I said it's black, brown, yellow... it is red, it is white
Every man's the same in the good Lord's sight.
He looked at me with his shining eyes,
I knew I could tell no lies
when he said "Daddy, why do the different races fight
If we're the same in the good Lord's sight?"
"Son, that's part of our suffering past
But the whole human family is learning at last
That the thing we need on the road we trod
Is to walk as the daughters and the sons of God".
These words to Africa a man once hurled
God's last chance to make a world
The different races are meant to be
Our strength and glory from sea to sea.
That song was composed over 50 years ago. We are still learning. God’s love for everyone has not changed. The Lord did, and still does, want us to walk in the light with Him. By our words and actions, may we show God’s powerful love, as we continue to shine His light to all. May it be so!
Loving and Holy God,
We are saddened by many who look for enemies to hate because of recent tragic events. Sometimes, it seems like the whole world is not getting along! Lines are drawn, and judgments are made, and walls go up. In the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, “where there is hatred, let us sow love.” May You use us to let Your love shine forth, in the midst of this dark time in our nation. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.