From an initial blog post more than ten years ago to a podcast, I have written words that have created a world. Each word is foundational, building upon the other and I cannot wait to stand on top of the rubble of race. To be sure, this raceless world, it is a “kin-dom” coming, the answer to a prayer offered mostly on Communion Sundays. Though memorized, it is not a habit, a routine or a tradition but the words are already becoming flesh. We are the answer to Jesus’ prayer.
On July 1st, I became the director of the Raceless Gospel Initiative at Good Faith Media. I am still pinching myself and rubbing my eyes. Still, it remains clear that Jesus’ gospel is raceless and I preached about it recently at Beverley Hills Community UMC in Alexandria, Virginia. The sermon, “Dead in the water,” focused on our baptismal identity and why this water should cause trouble for all other identities. Joseph Conrad said, “My task which I am trying to achieve is this, by the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel— it is, before all, to make you see. That and more, and it is everything. This, I believe, is the task of all preaching.
Every time I write and each time I speak, I hope to make you see yourself apart from race and deepen our understanding of our baptismal identity. To be sure, it is going to take work. All hands in, it is bodywork. The North American Church, Christ’s hands and feet, has done much to distort our understanding of human being and belonging, despite the principle truth that all are made in the imago Dei. Church hurts and we have to talk about it. I write about it this week in my column and several of my guests discuss it in this season of The Raceless Gospel podcast.
This podcast church service began yesterday and featured TaNikka Sheppard, executive pastor at The Fountain Church and Jennifer Butler, the executive director of Faith in Public Life. Many members, different body parts, Christ’s body often does not work well together. Each church has its own program, its own way of doing things. Sharing a sacred text, still it is difficult for Christian believers to get on the same page. Still, Jesus prayed that we would be one and to answer his prayer, it is going to take all of us. This is bodywork.
Season two of The Raceless Gospel podcast is available on all streaming platforms.
You can follow me @racelessgospel on IG and Twitter and follow the podcast @racelessgospelpodcast on IG and @racelessgosppod on Twitter. I’m calling on all Church mechanics to meet me in the bodyshop. Do join in the conversation and chime in with your questions. We’ve got work to do. Bodywork.