On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Pastor Brian led by example when he demonstrated what it looks like to connect the dots of our own stories to the injustices we see around us. If Dr. King were alive today, we can assume he would rejoice in the progress that has been made since his "I Have a Dream" speech, but he would certainly not turn a blind eye to the long road yet to be travelled. Sometimes God calls us to ditch the script of the expected, and take a closer look at who we are, where we're from, and how we live.
Let's talk more about this together.
Read this from the Bible together:
8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
Some key statements and questions put forward that are important for us to talk about…
And they sang a new song... Dr. King's "dream" reflects the "new song" we read about in Revelation. In the new heaven and new earth we will enjoy a brotherhood and sisterhood that unites all people. Do you long for a reality like the one the Bible describes? If so, why do you believe that racial reconciliation is a part of God's ultimate plan for mankind?
...with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. This passage describes a clearly identifiable difference in what humanity looks like under the blood of King Jesus—unified worship. What is one way you have seen another "tribe or tongue" worship Jesus that is different than your own? Why do you think this passage describes a future world in which worship is incomplete without such differences?
You have made them to be a kingdom...One way to reflect the heavenly reality of God's kingdom now is in our earthly friendships. Have you ever prayed for friendships with people who are different than you? Why do you think praying in such a way matters?
"Racial inequality is a present tense need, not a past tense story." Have you or someone you know argued that racial inequality is a thing of the past? If yes, why so? If not, why do you believe that racial reconciliation is imperative for the Jesus follower in our day and in our context?
“What is your "social location" in life? And how does it inform how you see and talk about things?" Have you ever taken inventory of where you're socially located? What places, people or positions do you have access to that others may not and vice versa?
"Are you more hopeful or haunted by the current state of things?" Pastor Brian asked this question to his professor who answered with, "I'm hopeful, because I'm still haunted." Why is it important for those who are in favorable social locations to avoid apathy in regards to issues of race and inequality? How would you answer Brian's question if he asked you the same thing?