Homily to Racism

June 16th, 2020 by admin-su



Over the last week or so I have been receiving emails, text messages and face book messages on the issue of the appalling incident of the death of George Floyd, a young black man killed by a white police officer and the pursuing riots that have erupted in the USA. And the following marches in other countries.

I read messages of support for Georges family and comments about what should happen now.

I have also received messages of the anger of others who have felt outraged at the situation but also ask why there was (seemed to be) no justice, no accountability and no marches or riots in the UK for the young British guardsman Lee James Rigby who was run over and then hacked to death on the streets of London by two black men.

Both were horrifically violent and senseless deaths.

First of all, I’m sure we are all aware that the American police officers have been arrested and up for charges of 2nd degree murder

There is a due process going on and we can only pray that justice will be done.

I think we need to recognise that racism is prevalent almost everywhere, racism of many kinds. But there is no denying it has a very, very, long deep and unhappy history in the United States of America, I believe more than most.

While not claiming to be an expert or particularly knowledgeable in the subject, but I have over the last 10 years belonged to a group who have been studying different racial, ethnic, and cultural groups of the world, which I continue to learn from.

But for anyone who has read, studied or knows anything about the history of the racial prejudice in America cannot be anything but deeply saddened by the situation that has existed throughout its history.

When we look back to 1776 at the time of the Declaration of Independence; The constitution of the United States of America.

With wonderful sounding words of

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain undeniable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness “

Wonderful ideals but from the very start these did not apply to black people in USA

If you look at George Washington, the first president of the United States kept slaves.

Some other founding fathers – not all some did speak out against it – but many others also have slaves.

So a deeply unhappy history is there from the very beginning, of America as an independent nation. The civil war in the 19th century was fought largely over the issue of slavery sadly even that didn’t solve the issue.

And Martin Luther King and the black civil rights movement in the 1960s did not see an end to the problem.

And that desperately unhappy history over America hangs on.

It hangs over American politics

It hangs over society

And even hangs over in some church life today.

That said,

Looking at the rioting and violence, looting the beating of innocent people on the streets of America, the news that some of the protesters burnt to the ground a local business which had served its community for

generations was destroyed and the lively hood of a family firm that had been going for over 100 years, destroying not just the business but the lives of those who were part of their own community, and the list goes on. None of which can be condoned!

To their credit the family of George Floyd have spoken out against this aspect of the marches and protests and it does little to stand up for the message trying to be told.

That being said it doesn’t take away from the desperate and tragic history of race in America.

So as Christians how are we to respond to it?

First, I think we should respond to to it in the way we should as Christians respond to any issue, any problem or anything that comes our way as Christians.

We should turn to scripture, turn to the bible to see what that says about the issues we may face,

How does the bible face the issue of race whether it black, brown, white yellow!

What does the word of God say about this issue and how do we approach it in respect to the bible.

Let’s us start with the foundational belief in as much as

We surely have to affirm that God has created each and every human person, every man and woman in his own image.

Take a look at scripture the Foundational text we read from the bible

Gen 1:27

So God created man in his own image

He created them in the image of God;

He created them male and female.

God blessed them, and God said to the, “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the whole earth, and subdue it”

I’m sure we are all aware that The Genesis text is utterly unique in saying that all human beings are created in the image and the likeness, of God.

Therefore, human life, no matter who we are, whatever our Abilities whatever our skin colour, every person has genuine worth, every person has value, As human beings We are all created in the image of God.

We are not only equal in his creation but we are also equal in redemption.

We are all equal in God’s plan of salvation,

Again from scripture In the NT

Galatians 3 28

There is neither, Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

“There is no Jew or Greek,” those would be racial or ethnic categories.

Yes there were religious categories but no racial or ethnic categories:

There is neither slave nor free, social categories.

There is no male or female, biological categories.

All of those have been transcended, in and through Jesus Christ.

So we are equal in creation and we’re equal in salvation

So how will it all ends,

If we look at the end of the bible, the book of revelation, describes the vision the bible has for the future, of Gods future

Let’s first take a look at heaven; we are all familiar with the term, even our own understanding of what that means

But let’s see what the bible says about it in terms of the end times.

What according the bible does heaven look like, according to the

Heaven looks like this

Rev 7 v 9

“After this I looked, and there was a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the lamb. -Jesus, and they were robed in white holding palm branches in their hands and they cried out in a loud voice,

Salvation belongs to our God,

Who is seated on the throne and to the lamb?

That is God’s vision for the future, for the end times.

People from every nation, tribe, and tongue. Who worshipped the lamb, who worshipped Jesus.

So what’s Gods purpose in all this?

His purpose is to unite the human race under our Lord Jesus Christ.

I believe that the only way that people are going to be united as a human race is in and through Jesus.

The bible tells us that we are All, Sinners whatever nation, tribe, tongue all of us , and the only one saviour there is Christ and only one way to be united, and to find our way back to God is through Christ.

So how can we respond to this practically?

We start by checking our own thoughts, our own hidden prejudices of any kind, colour, intellect, ability, asking Gods cleansing and healing

What else practically can we do, we can make sure our church a welcoming place for all. Again No matter what race, tongue, ability, status or colour.

In doing so we strive to make sure that our church is open and welcoming to all.

Blessings of peace, kindness and compassion and understanding be bestowed on us all.