“I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”
~ Galatians 2.20, NRSV
Race attempts to group millions of individuals according to their culture and based on the external markers of their flesh: the social coloring of skin, the shape of one’s nose and eyes, the size of one’s lips, the texture of one’s hair. This is a racialized identity, a socially constructed way of being. Seeing ourselves as racial beings is not to be confused with the image of God.
Race says that all that we are is what she and he can see, hear, touch, taste and smell. It is a sensual and temporal identity, easily observed and judged. Race says that the meaning of me and you can be changed and adapted based on how we I look to others, which reduces the value of individuality and consequently, our unique purpose in the earth. Race says we are conformable to its stereotypes, making race the potter and not God.
This racialized identity also does not seek to bring glory to God but to our selves and our culture. Race says that we are supreme– not God. Race says that we are good– not God. Race says that we are the model, the example to be followed– not God or God’s Son who is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 10.1o). But, no human being is good all of the time or even most of the time. No human being is the model of goodness though she and he can serve as an example in one instance or another. No human being is the standard of goodness as goodness is not defined by what we can manipulate– not good hair, not good genes or a good life. But, goodness is God. “All the time God is good and God is good all the time.”
A racial identity is tied down to historic oppression and relationships of manipulation and deception, based on popular and conflicting opinions, rooted in hair with ends that split, eyes that grow weak and dim, lips that crack and blister, skin that wounds and wrinkles. But, we are spirit because our God is Spirit and consequently, we are unable to be contained or defined (John 4.24).
Race thinks too small of humanity. Lives that will not be subjected to its prejudices will not fit. Purposes that are not willing to shrink based on its stereotypes are not suitable. We are so much greater than race will say and we will never see it so long as we believe its words.