We are very spiritual people… in church. We make for great Christians between 11 a.m. and noon. It is so easy to share a hymnal, to forgive someone who steps on our toe as she slides into the seat next to us, to smile and greet a new visitor. We behave as if God only sees us in church, that we must only do our Sunday best.
Once the benediction is pronounced and before we walk out the door, we have already flipped the switch, turned our minds over to the ‘real world.’ We think that it’s okay, understandable, acceptable even to be carnal. I mean, let’s be serious. This ain’t heaven and the world is not full of angels. There is a time and a place for the practice of our faith and it’s on Sunday at 11 a.m. But, in so doing, we reveal that we are wearing a mask and our worship is a mere performance.
We don’t really believe that we can behave or believe in the world as we do in our sacred communities. We can’t be kind to persons outside of the church, right? We can’t forgive persons who are not members of our Sunday school class. We need to know them in order to practice our faith with them. Our love is only for those who love our God, right? Uh-uh.
Our society caters to the flesh, appeals to it, supports it. And race does this so well. It says that we give our best to those who look like us. We are only kind, understanding, forgiving of those within our culture. Our systems support it. Our families teach it. Our egos like it.
But, what is the place of race in the life of a Christian? What is the role of race in our lives? Why do we need it and why does it seem that we can’t do without it? When we go home, when we gather for worship, when we sit at our desk at work or school, why is race there? What is race doing here with us very spiritual people?