Does Race Give Credit?

Today, I attended a briefing at the White House with sixty other Baptists from around the nation; afterwards, I attended a debriefing over a very late lunch; and after that, I attended a ministers meeting at the church where I currently serve. To say the least, it has been a long day but it’s been a productive, a useful one. I have great joy at this late hour because while I waited for my food to arrive, I opened my Bible and began to read the lectionary readings for the week. As often occurs, I continued to read beyond the designated scriptures and found myself being fed in the best way.

This week’s readings included Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Chapter four and verses 20 through 24 read: “He (Moses) did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. Therefore it was credited to him for righteousness. Now it was credited to him was not written for Abraham alone, but also for us.  It will be credited to us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” 

I pray that I too will have the faith of Moses as I believe in the promise of God through His Son, Jesus Christ: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their (the disciples) message. May they be all one as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You; May they also be one in Us so that the world may believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 17.20-23). Likewise, I share the conviction of the apostle Paul: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, no slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3.27-28). Jesus prayed for the unity of future believers and I believe with all my heart that we will not remain separate forever.

So, tonight, I wonder what will race give us for our faith in its colors and categories, its stereotypes and prejudices? What will be our reward for trusting in race? What promise or prayer does it fulfill? What do we think our credit for believing in race will be?

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