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A Cure for Cancer in the Church

Racism should never have happened and so you don’t get a cookie for reducing it.Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

Some of you have gone through, or are currently going through, treatment for cancer. You’re waiting for the day your doctor announces the results of your most recent scan, “The smallest tumors are gone! The mid-size growths have reduced by half, and the largest is 90% smaller in size!”

But what if the same doctor on that same day announced they were going to stop all treatments and just hope the cancer finished eradicating itself? How would you respond? Maybe something like, “No way. Not happening. We don’t stop treatment until every cancerous cell in my body is destroyed.”

I feel similarly about racism or any notion that we are superior to someone else based on race or ethnicity. Racism is a dark spot on the timeline of history for many nations and people. The good news is that in some quarters, the tumors are shrinking—we can look back and see how far we’ve come since the days of slavery. But it’s still happening. Racism still manifests in people’s thoughts and actions.

This cancer, if left unchecked inside the Church, will infect our experience and our extension of God and His grace.

Over the next few days, we’re going to observe how Jesus dealt with racism. Because if Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever—which He is—then as He indwells me and I surrender to Him, He will express Himself through me. The same is true for you. Your life today will look like His life in the Gospels. So let’s commence our journey with one small phrase in Luke 7:6, “Jesus went with them.”

Jesus’ position on racism is discovered as we follow Him walking in the direction of others who were unlike Him.

Jesus, are tumors of racism preventing me from growing in love toward all people? I am open to Your healing. Keep me malleable and replace my racist thoughts and actions with Your thoughts and actions. Amen.

Learn more from Pete’s teaching on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?

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