During this season of Lent, a kind of forty- day challenge for some believers, I have been reflecting on surrender and what we mean when we say, “I give up.” In the practice of our faith, according to the terms and conditions of our discipleship, giving up is a good thing. Dare I say, it is the goal. “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me'” (Matthew 16.24).
In our surrender to the Spirit of God and the denial of self- gratification, we practice a little of Christ’s death. In denying our carnal selves, we accept more of the spiritual life of Jesus. Because he denied himself on a daily basis in service to humanity and as a servant of God’s will: “not my will but yours” (Luke 22.42).
He could have been full of himself. He could have touted his successes. He could have pointed to the number of angels that follow him. He could have boasted of all his creations– but he didn’t.
But, the social construct of race does just the opposite. It puts the confidence and the change in our flesh. Whether privilege or powerless, it is a work outside of the Spirit of God. Race says because of the social coloring of skin, beige, black, brown, red, yellow, white, we are valuable and worthy.
But, if we are following the social construct of race, we are walking in the opposite direction of Jesus Christ. Race puts our flesh up front and says that if we are this “color,” then we are good, acceptable, blessed, righteous, pure, upright. This is heresy.
It is not your average, run of the mill identity but competes with our identity in Christ Jesus.
Race say that there is no change, no room for improvement. We are who the social coloring of our skin says that we are. There is no wiggle room but these are our marching orders. We can only fall in line as there is no place for those who would not surrender to the color- code. But, we cannot be a disciple of Christ and race? Either you are going to be a color or a Christian but you cannot be both– because Christ’s is not your average identity.