6 pounds = injustice and racism
6 pounds, how does this cause so many problems in our culture, 6 pounds is the cause of strife, suffering and murder. It’s not 6 pounds of ammunition or explosives, but 6 pounds is the average weight of a human being’s flesh. It is staggering that 6 pounds of flesh, has caused, is causing and will be the cause for so many to commit injustice across our planet.
Racism is a very real issue here in the UK and we can’t think that the problem is only in America and isn’t here.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the events in America have been a sandstorm, not revealing anything new but revealing what has been hidden to so many for so long. It has put justice, poverty and racism in the spotlight and as the church we cannot remain silent.
We must call out racism for what it is, racism is evil.
Three things to highlight from scripture:
- We are all image bearers of God
- Genesis 1:26-27
- The first word from God on humanity is that he made all human beings in his own image, this shapes our view of every human being we meet. Each and every one of us is formed by God’s hand and bears his likeness.
- Racism will not flourish when people believe that their neighbour bears the image of God. Everyman is significant to God, because everyone is made in the image of God.
- Jesus came for all
- John 3:16
- Romans 3:23
- Galatians 3:28
- The gospel is a level playing field for all people. Every person, regardless of nationality needs Jesus, without Jesus we have nothing but in Christ Jesus we are one.
- Jesus’ mission was very clear, at the beginning of his ministry he lays this out in Luke 4:14-19
- This was why Jesus came, to liberate and set us free from sin, bondage and captivity. And Jesus’ mission is as relevant today as it always has been.
- Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on all nations
- Acts 2:5-7
- The names of most of the countries in that passage have changed, but we recognise Egypt and Libya being in Africa and other places include modern day Iran, Iraq and Turkey and also Egypt and Libya.
- From this crowd 3,000 were saved and baptised and undoubtedly some of those Christians were black and for Christians Pentecost smashes racism into pieces.
- In Acts 8 we also hear the story of Philip and the Ethiopian man, but there’s no story in the scriptures of an Englishman becoming a Christian. Pentecost reminds us that we must not make the mistake of associating Christianity with whiteness.
- Racial, cultural and ethnic diversity is a birth right of the church.
It’s so important not to underestimate the uneven playing field of the world. Although we’re not responsible for what happened in the past, we are responsible to rectify things now.
A call for practical action as Christians and specifically as Hope Church.
- Speak up – we must not let this topic of racism and injustice fall out of the news cycle. We must not let silence become a comfort blanket for injustice and things staying the same. Turning a blind eye means you’re part of the problem.
- Be a learner – to fellow white Christians how is your black history? Have we read any black theologians? Let’s commit to learning and being educated. We need to understand why things are the way they are. Two book recommendations, ‘Just mercy’ by Bryan Stevenson and ‘We need to talk about race’ by Ben Lindsay
- Pray without ceasing – this is vital, we need to pray publicly and privately, and if we run out of words pray in tongues or use the Psalms.
- Walk the walk – as Hope Church our vision statement is from Luke 4 and it is something we want to live out. Nothing will be changed by apathy and passivity, we must fight together, we all have a part to play.
- Be a shining light – the church should be the ones leading the way. This is a clear moment for the church to speak out about racism here in the UK. Hope church is committed to being a reflection of heaven by being a diverse church.
As a church we’re called to be a shining light for the rest of society, to demonstrate, not just acceptance of different races, but belonging and all having an equal voice as part of the family of God.
Education is good, protesting is good, using our vote is good. But the only true answer that will bring healing and hope, is Jesus. He doesn’t just repair, he goes one step further and He makes all things new.