History Dies Hard

What do we do if we don't march? We build friendships. My church, Boone United Methodist, has been searching for ways to worship and partner with Cornerstone-Summit, our nearest neighboring African-American congregation. This is not do-goodering. Cornerstone doesn't need us, though we need them. What such a relationship does is it challenges our "we." When I said "we" earlier and referred to white people, I was confessing that my "we" hasn't been troubled enough by the Holy Spirit yet. But the church is a place where differences between Jew and Gentile, male and female, slave and free are melted in the fire of the Spirit's baptism (Gal.

3:27). When local or national racial incidents flare up, and they will, the friends folded into our lives should question the racially homogenous assumptions passed down with our mothers' milk and peddled to us on hate media. When I say "we're surely past all that," my friends can say "wait, your 'we' now includes me, and I think not." And because I hope to look Pastor Reggie Hunt from Cornerstone-Summit in the eye again this week, I'll watch what I say, and think, and pray.

I don't expect the Supreme Court or Fox News or marchers to take notice. But I'm not beholden to them. My work is not dedicated to making America come out right. But I am beholden to Jesus and his church. And these pastor friends are showing me that a troubled "we" can't so blithely self-exonerate. We can repent. And even receive something like forgiveness and a graced new life together.

3/4/2015 5:00:00 AM