There is a call and response song that comes to mind today. One person asks, “Have you tried Jesus?” and the congregation responds, “He’s alright!” I have heard many persons offer this song before sharing a personal testimony or a Sunday morning message. She or he usually encourages the members to “try him for yourself,” explaining that they have “tried him and they know him.” It is to say that they have tested the name and power of Jesus Christ for themselves, that their expression of faith in and dependence on Jesus Christ is not something that they have inherited. It is not something that they borrowed for the Sunday morning worship service. But, they have tried Jesus and want to know if those gathered have done the same. So, they ask, “Have you tried Jesus?” to which the congregation responds, “He’s alright.” And after a number repetitions, both the caller and the responder, begin to declare that “He’s alright!”
Well, have you tried race? Have you tested it for yourself? Or, is it an identity that you have faith in because your family or society does? How did you come to know it? Is this identity your own and if not, then what is the nature of your relationship? Because I’ve tried race and it has not withstood the tests. When I was at my lowest, it was not my racial identity that raised me up but my identity in Jesus Christ. When I was sick and afflicted, I did not call upon the name of race to heal and deliver me. No, I called on the name of Jesus.
And I’ve subjected race to his name. I’ve tried it for myself scripture and it’s not alright.