“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.” —Nelson Mandela
Racism is a way to feel superior to others on the basis of immutable realities. If I’m white and you’re black, I will always be white and you will always be black. If I delude myself into believing that being white is superior to being black, I will therefore always feel superior to you.
This temptation is alluring on levels we often don’t recognize. In fact, I think Satan wants us not to acknowledge our discriminatory inclinations, lest we admit and repent of them.
It is therefore a good first step in confronting racism to check ourselves. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you any unstated attitudes or assumptions that are discriminatory. Ask him to reveal to you any thoughts, words, or actions that are racist.
Pray regularly for such discernment. And where necessary, repent.
A Prayer for today:
For our Church, that we may celebrate and welcome the diverse faces of Christ in our community, our worship, our ministries, and our leaders, let us pray to the Lord.
For world leaders, that they may work to end the violence perpetrated by verbal attacks, deadly weapons, and cold indifference. May our nation and countries around the world become havens of peace, let us pray to the Lord.
For parents and educators, that we may teach our children how to resolve differences non-violently and respectfully and have the courage to model it in our own behavior, let us pray to the Lord.
For this faith community, that we may hear the call of our leaders in the new Pastoral Letter against Racism to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to act together to end violence and racism, let us pray to the Lord.
For our public officials, that the Spirit of Wisdom may help them strive to work for equal education, suitable housing, and equal employment opportunities for all, let us pray to the Lord.
For solidarity in our global human family, that we may be vigilant in our protection of those who are most vulnerable and most in need, let us pray to the Lord.
For those who have died, especially those who have died in the pursuit of justice, may they be welcomed into the great glory of God’s love, let us pray to the Lord.
Keep watch over my heart Lord, and remove from me any barriers to your grace, that may oppress and offend my brothers and sisters.
Fill my spirit Lord, so that I may give services of justice and peace.
Clear my mind Lord, and use it for your glory.
And finally, remind us Lord that you said, “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”
In Jesus’ name these things we pray, Amen