“Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”
Matthew 18.19, NRSV
Agreements. We make them and unfortunately, we break them. We sign agreements and sometimes, we wish that we could erase our names. Coming to an agreement can prove difficult, the journey revealing things about ourselves that we did not know existed or that we wish would have remained our little secret.
Agreements don’t come alone but require assistance. They come with words like faith, trust, sacrifice and the big ones: compromise and commitment. They require that we give and take a little.
Perhaps, this is why it can prove difficult to take the race-less journey of the Christian faith. It is a journey that requires that we trust that God’s best for us is not based on race, that God has a better life for us that is not dependent upon it. Not only is the agreement hard to make but it is also difficult to give up race because we will have to sacrifice our identity as victim and victimizer, oppressed and oppressor and the power that goes along with it. But, we won’t be able to make the journey with these burdens.
Living racially as socially colored- coded human beings is all that we have known. We would not recognize our lives a part from race and cannot imagine a life wherein we are not in agreement with race’s claims about us, our neighbor and God. Maybe it is because in so many instances, it seems as if race knows best or that race always wins. Wouldn’t you agree?
Still, I believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is race-less, that the will of God for our lives is race-less, that the supreme and ultimate plan of God for humanity is race-less. I do not believe that race assists God in His relationship with humanity, that race informs or directs God as it relates to His will for us, that God is a practicing racist or that His power is somehow racially determined. Consequently, I do not serve a socially colored black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige God. No, God is Spirit (John 4.24).
Persons agree that race is a socially constructed concept, that race is neither biologically nor physically real, that there is no gene that determines race, that there are no physically colored black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige people. We know this and yet, we agree with race’s stereotypes and live its prejudices.
But, letting go of race and putting it behind us will take more than laws, resolutions and apologies. We need to do more than change the way that we speak but we need to change what we believe. We need a change of heart and a change in the way that we relate to one another.
It will take conviction, commitment, compromise… and yes, agreement. But, I believe that it is possible and I am asking God to give us the strength to see it through. I just need two or three people to agree with me. Can I count on you?