Magazine Leader – July 2020
The tragic events in Minneapolis in May are an affront to the LORD God Almighty. In fact, taking any life is an affront to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The protest that spread across the globe repeated the phrase: “I can’t breathe!” spoken by George Floyd (46). He died whilst being arrested, a consequence of a policeman’s knee on his neck for several minutes. Public opinion named the actions as a disproportionate use of force to restrain a man with a fake $20 note. While the disciplinary and legal process is worked out, the cry of racism has led us to examine our own lives.
Why does one life matter? It is because of a fundamental truth that has shaped society for the good: all people are made in “the image of God” (Genesis 1v27). All have equal dignity before Him.
What can possibly be done to drive change where it is needed? Policies can guide, but the heart is fundamental to good relationships. This is Jesus’ specialism! One consequence of the cross of Christ is the power to unite people from different groups. The Apostle Paul announces the seemingly impossible.
The Gentiles (non-Jews) who were excluded from the promises of God had experienced a miracle: “But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility…….that he might create one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing hostility” (Ephesians 2v13-16). The blood of Christ shed on the cross is the only power to reconcile people who have formerly been divided by ethnic group, nationality, social background, economic status, education, class.
Since Jesus’ blood reconciles us to God and to others, then we have blood ties with fellow believers. It means that the Christian church should be on the leading edge of reconciliation, but it can’t currently boast such an achievement. Yet, each time we meet to praise the Lord, state our belief in Him, confess our sins, practise forgiveness and pledge our loyalty to be disciples, then we are on the road to being ‘one new man’ and ‘one body’ in Christ.
I invite readers to join in the life of a church, but to expect to see us working on this aspect of church life – since it one of the marks of following Jesus.