Over the past three weeks God has been sending his hound of heaven to speak, pursue and convict me of the importance of diversity, plurality, unity, racial reconciliation and multiculturalism in the church. It started as I began preaching through the book of Ephesians and revisited the reality of the Gospel being communal, social and reconciliatory as it torn down the dividing wall of hostility between Jew and Greek and that Jesus is our peace and creating one new humanity; I then read Anthony Smith's article Practicing Pentecost in Emergent Manifesto of Hope; that some week I want to a seminar on the multicultural church by Rev. Jin Kim who pastors the Church of all Nations; and just his weekend Dr. John Franke talked about how if the PCUSA is going to allow for emergence it will need to continue to reform by listening and learning from the voices of the "other", the minority and realize that there is no culturally free theology and we are in need of hearing from and learning from those who tend to have minority voices; finally at the same Presbymergent conference by my good friend Derrick Weston, I was challenged to reconsider the necessity of reconciliation, relocation and redistribution of the CCDA's vision birthed by John Perkins.
OK I get it Lord! I feel as though God is reminding me a vision that he planted in my heart many years ago. And yet at the same time it is new and fresh. God is renewing in me a passion for justice, peace, a visible multicultural church and the passion to pursue it. I have shed many tears these past weeks. Tears for forsaking the call of the Gospel. Tears for the broken relationships, alienation and injustice among people of different cultures in the church. Tears for the forthcoming struggle of what it will mean to shift, change, let go and surrender to the Holy spirit who is calling the Open Door to more explicitly and actively engage the whole gospel of human reconciliation, justice, peace and the celebrating the marginal voices of the 'others" in our midst. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ empower me to lead and surround me with others who share the vision of every tribe tongue and nation gathered before the throne of the Lamb. May I have the courage to use my white privilege to be a prophetic voice, casting a picture of the shalom of God in our church and city.
I am going to do my best to begin to reflect on some of these thoughts over the next week or two so stay tuned.