Today as a nation we observe Martin Luther King’s life and the work he accomplished for the civil rights movement. It has been 43 years since Dr. King’s assassination, and despite legislation to end racial injustices, we still suffer severe racial divides.
“Racial reconciliation” is suppose to be the bridge to bring people together where those legislations have failed.
While the faith community chimes in with “Jesus is the Answer!” But saying the words isn’t enough.
On January 13 of this year, the Flower Mound Campus of The Village Church hosted Dr. Eric Mason, pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia. Dr. Mason was invited to speak on the topic of racial reconciliation (listen to the sermon here), a topic it turns out, he doesn’t like to speak on.
Assuring the audience they didn’t have an “angry black man” before them, Dr. Mason explained that he saw racial reconciliation as a symptom of a larger problem. Using Psalm 51 as his framework Dr. Mason challenged the congregation that in order to be reconciled we need to become a culture of repentance. The challenge wasn’t that one people group should repent to the other. Rather he charged both those who have committed racial injustices and those that have had those injustices thrust upon them with the need to repent.
The repentance of an offender is obvious, but its tougher to consider the need for the offended to repent.
Dr. Mason pointed out that in his culture all too often people have grown bitter and unforgiving, and that is something we need to own up to and to repent of. If Jesus is to be the answer then we must be a culture of repentance. It is then, with repentant hearts, that we should be able to begin the work of racial reconciliation.
Whether in word or deed are there any racial injustices of which you need to repent?
Are there any injustices that you have embittered yourself over and need to repent?
Maybe this a specific person you need to talk to, and possibly this is pervasive negative attitude that needs to be repented of.
As the Men of Hope we shouldn’t be responding to culture. We should be creating culture.
A culture of repentance and reconciliation. I culture that is ultimately one of restoration.
Eric Mason on Twitter: @pastoremase
Check out Eric Mason’s new book Manhood Restored
And seriously, listen to the sermon