“How can we pray accurately for and harmoniously with the other members of God’s people? Through song: song establishes all the members of the congregation in organic relationship. The Christian recovers a sense of community and experiences the dynamics of community not through the categories of sociology but through the music of liturgy. We would prefer to stand tall and alone in our prayers. But our stature and individuality are never the most important thing in prayer: God is; our neighbors are there. We live before God, in community.”
~ Eugene Peterson, Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer
Black Church. White Church. Red Church. Brown Church. Beige Church. The Body of Christ is segregated, Christ’s body amputated because of race. We preach unity, togetherness, hospitality. We often recite scriptures on the foreigner and the stranger. But, both terms often apply to those we view as racial beings and a part of a different “race of people.” It is still difficult for Christians to come together in the same sanctuary and race has a lot to do with it.
Christian community is not established through the social construct of race or the worship of a particular race as the supreme and best of humanity. Instead, Christian community is established and founded upon the worship of a particular and supreme God. The racialized identity is self- seeking and self- serving; it is not neighborly but self- centered. It is rooted in a community not of faith but of physical features. It is not a matter of whether we are praying to the same God but whether the God we are praying to is for “us” and against “them.” Race is by definition anti- community and will subject our Christianity to its inharmonious demand of separation and segregation.
We must open our eyes to see each other as siblings and open our doors to accept all nations. We must be a race-less Church, focused on our God- given identity and not the socially constructed one. #race-lesscommunity