This week we remember the 40th Anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. His legacy, among other things, is such that we talk of race relations in terms of Post and Pre- Civil Rights. Many blogs and articles this week have asked the question about Rev. King’s dream. Have we reached it, have we deferred it, have we gone backwards? This blog will not attempt to answer that question. (sorry) However, for those of us involved in multi-racial ministry it this week should remind us that we have made a few steps but have many to go.
Chapter 2:11-22 of Ephesians calls us to be in one in Christ. It is not by accident that this passage is preceded by the Paul’s eloquent reminder that we are only saved by grace not by works and that we are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”(2:10) The good works are followed by Paul’s plea for us to be one in Christ. Thus, being one in Christ, is one of the “good works” that God desires.
Christ destroyed the barrier between Greek and Jew. A bigger obstacle to oneness than we have today because it was a barrier that kept one group of people “without hope and without God in the world.” Christ did this so that He would create one new man and one body (the church). God’s call is for us to be one together. No matter the race, no matter the culture, no matter the economic class, God’s call is for us to be one and only the blood of Christ can make that happen (see Revelation 5:9)
The church must be the leader in bringing people together. The church must be the one place where no matter our background, race or class that we are one in Christ because he is the one who destroyed the barrier.
Here at Castle Rock, we are a new church since Hurricane Katrina. Just a small, quick snapshot shows that we have 20 somethings (mostly white middle class) who have moved to New Orleans to make a difference. We have a retired Baptist preacher from a traditional African-American Church Culture and few others from that cultural setting. We have people with PhD’s and folks working on their GEDs. People from all ends of the continuum of life. Black and white, haves and have not’s together striving to be one with each other because we are one in Christ. Yes we have our differences, yes those difference cause conflicts at times but we are all on a journey to the foot of the Cross because it is only there that we can be one. The further we are from the foot of the Cross the further our division will be. Only the cross of Christ can make us one. That is where we need to be. Then the local church body will be a reflection of the racial and social economic make up of it’s community. That is where the dream can come true.