Let’s face it. The work of racial reconciliation is hard. We are asking fleshly human beings to reject their own natural worldview and self-interest and choose God’s kingdom instead. This is not an easy message to communicate and even more difficult to embrace and live out.
Today, fight discouragement and the temptations to withdraw from the battle with some wonderful truths right from Christ’s resurrection.
1. Embrace suffering. Jesus gave his life on the cross, not for anything that he did, but for us. In the same way, we need to embrace the suffering of others as our own. This is such a key element in being a racial reconciler. Mourn with those who mourn and, as much as is possible, empathize and sympathize with sufferings that are not your own.
2. Stay hopeful. Yes, many days it will look like we are making little progress. There may even be times that things look completely lost. At those times remind yourself that we serve a living Savior and with him there is always hope. The tomb was not the end of the story -- HE ROSE!
3. Embrace death. Everyone loves the victory of the resurrection! It is God’s triumph over sin, the flesh, and the devil that he so generously shares with his children. Yet, there is no resurrection without death. In our work of bringing reconciliation between former enemies there is much we must die to: our own desires, hurt feelings, being understood, other opinions of us, etc. These and so much more must die if we are to see Christ’s life flow through us.
4. Be a bridge. Jesus was God in the flesh. He brought heaven to earth. He made the eternal accessible. In his person he connects so many elements that do not seem to go together: justice and mercy, humility and unashamed self-proclamation, compassion and rebuking, to name a few. In the same way, although our work to see heaven on earth today may seem impossible, in Jesus it becomes more than possible.
5. Remain focused. Our work is not to build our own kingdoms but to see his kingdom come and his will be done. Just like Jesus in the garden we must respond to the difficult cups we must often drink with, “yet not my will, but yours be done." We must never lose focus and always keep what we do squarely centered in making our Father proud and our Lord famous.
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