One of my favorite cities is under attack this week. Not only the city – but more importantly a church filled with brothers and sisters in Christ – those who profess to know the Truth of the Gospel. We’ve seen prayer vigils and heard stories and listened to news accounts.
While this event in no way surprises me, it does sadden me greatly. It doesn’t surprise me because we live in a fallen world and sinners are just going to do what sinners do: sin. At times that sin is so hideous that it makes the front page of every news station in America. It shouldn’t surprise us because our country has never been free from racial tension and will never be free of racial tension.
It saddens me because all of us are broken people. Every single person in this world is broken and is need of restoration. Brokenness lies in the church and outside the church. The best thing about this brokenness is that we can be pieced back together.
Scripture is so clear of our brokenness. I’ve been studying the book of Nehemiah and the walls that he was called to rebuild were broken and in shambles. So clearly evidenced in the lives of the people who lived there and the wall itself. He was called to restore it. Nehemiah showed the people how to restore. Jesus is our physical and spiritual restorer. He came to fix the broken.
Just as we’ve seen in Baltimore, in DC, in OK, in Charleston, and in schools and neighborhoods and stores and families all across this country every single day: race builds a wall – a shattered broken destroyed wall that shatters relationships and community and thriving.
As partakers of the Gospel we can share healing, restoration, and grace (aka CHRIST) with the broken who live near us. I see this in so many ways as families I know personally adopt or foster children of different races. This is such a picture of healing to me. Of loving someone other than yourself. Of being Jesus with skin on.
“Because of this decision we don’t evaluate
people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah
that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t
look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see if that anyone
united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!
All this comes from the God who settled the relationship
between us and him, and then called us to settle
our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself
through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.
God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We are Christ’s representatives.”
2 Corinthians 5