Reflect on Ephesians 2:15b-16: “His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.”
When Paul mentions creating one new humanity of the two, he is talking about Jews and non-Jews coming to Christ. Their identity as Jews or Gentiles becomes secondary to their identity in Christ. What shapes your identity and what shapes the perceptions you have of others? In our congregations we don’t have an issue with the Jewish/Gentile divide but we have been conditioned to see each other through a racialized lens. We see each other as white, black, Asian, Latino, Native American. In addition, we have been culturally conditioned to respect for people we see as white and to stigmatize people we see as black or brown. Depending on your self-awareness, this information is likely not new to you. Most people would deny that they are conditioned to give deference to white people and to stigmatize black or brown people. However, the mistrust and stigmatization of groups is most evident in the voluntary segregation of Sunday morning worship services.
So as you reflect on this passage I hope and pray that you would be willing to:
- Seek ways to become more self-aware of how racialization distorts your identity and the identities you create for others.
- Seek ways to create congregational awareness of racialization and the impact it has on being a faithful witness of Christ and proclaiming salvation to the lost.
- Seek conversations with people you consider outside of your group to help increase your awareness and effectiveness at overcoming a racialized condition.
This "Ideas for You to Try" was originally shared as part of the Race Relations US-West newsletter. If you'd like to receive this newsletter regularly to learn about recommended resources and upcoming events in the Western U.S., visit this page.