Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fulfilling the Dream

Sunday is the most segregated day of the week. "You go to your church, I'll go to mine." "You worship with 'your' people, I'll worship with 'mine.'" There is nothing more exciting to me than seeing those walls come down and the lines blurred and people who are different embracing one another and worshipping together. That is just what happened tonight. My church has an ongoing relationship with a predominantly African American congregation here in the city. It all started about 2 years ago with a forum my church hosted on racial relations within the church. It was that forum that opened our eyes to the possibility to bond together under the shadow of the cross and ignore the lines society has placed between us, for it is under the cross that those lines are gone and we are one body. Everytime we worship together I can see and feel the Kingdom of God. It is God's desire that we would learn to love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ and see one another only as He sees us - precious and invaluable. My pastor said it right when he said that it is time to stop saying "I'm a black Christian or I'm a white Christian and start saying I'm a Christian who happens to be black or white." In the eyes of God, "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28) The choirs of both churches joined together at the end of the service and sang a GORGEOUS and powerful song entitled "Total Praise" by Richard Smallwood. I had chills - not because the song was gorgeous (which it was), not because the words are powerful (they are), but because I saw a glimpse of the church as it should be - bonded and worshipping openly together. The service ended with everyone joining hands and singing "I Need You, You Need Me" - another powerful song. Last month, my church received the honor of marching in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade with Fariview Baptist - an experience I will never forget. I firmly believe it is a glimpse of the Kingdom and life as it should be when our congregations meet together, whether in worship or to bear witness to the steps in fulfilling the dream - the dream of a family and bond which knows no race.

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