In the context of current events, it is well-worth stoppping and reflecting. Humble listening, both to the wider world and to God’s word, is vital to live a relevant Christian life. (Read about John Stott’s concept of ‘double-listening’.)
The killing of George Floyd two weeks ago has sparked demonstrations across the western world. Whilst not as overtly racist as some less-noticed events, this senseless killing has brought the issue of racial inequalities to the public eye to an astonishing degree. I am unqualified to comment on that event, and much has been said already, but it does give us cause to pause.
On Monday, Bishop Martyn and colleagues ‘took a knee’ outside the cathedral in solidarity – you can read more online.
I did make a couple of comments last week in Thought for the Day.
The issue is race is too often overlooked and current events have rightly made us pay attention not just to extreme and violent racism, but the prejudices and biases that pervade our hearts. Perhaps there is now a new attitude of humility about this issue, and that should be welcomed.
We are taking time to reflect as a leadership team about the issues of racism and inequality and would be glad to hear from anyone with experiences or reflections to share. Please write to me directly.
It might be helpful to share with you a few articles that have helped me reflect recently:
- One of my friends was interviewed here and asked ‘Do black lives matter?’ (5 mins)
- A good article on COVID-19 and inequality.
- A biblical reflection on Structural Racism.
- Some personal reflections from a black Christian man in the US.
- “George Floyd, Race and the Church” – A longer discussion between Christians about race. (50 mins)
- Grace Church Greenwich hosted a webinar thinking through this issue theologically.
- A family discussion from ‘Faith in Kids’.
- If you find things that would be helpful – please let me know.
However, let’s not only consider this issue because it is in the news but because we are listening to God. This is in no way to suggest that we don’t take racism seriously, but we should not be blown around by whatever is filling the headlines.
- If we are concerned about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19, let us notice that the poor are more impacted than the rich.
- If we are against violence and murder, let us be against violence death everywhere – like the murder of these Christians in Pakistan.
- If we stand against racial injustice, let us be against injustice everywhere: like this trial of an Anglican bishop in the US.
- If we want to see everyone treated according to their God-given value, let’s be desperately concerned about the deaths of 207,000 unborn children last year.
The world is not as it should be, and there is much to be praying for. Let’s commit to be shaped into the likeness of Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, and committed to work for His kingdom.