Dear Christ the Redeemer Family,
I have been grieved during this period of COVID-19 by how disproportionately difficult all of this has been upon the poor, and especially in minority communities. In these past few weeks, of course, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd and the on-going aftermath of those events has multiplied the grief and injustice.
I believe these are moments when those of us who are majority-race people living in the lovely, leafy suburbs should adopt a posture of humility. There are two questions that I believe are good for us to ask:
- Recognizing that my primary identity is as a citizen of the Body of Christ, when have I last listened to a brother or sister in our Lord Jesus who is of a minority race (who also has the Spirit of Jesus) share about how they are doing and what their experience is in these matters?
- What am I willing that it cost me to follow Jesus in caring for his (whole) Body and having my primary identity be as a part of his Body?
This season of Pentecost, in and of itself, calls us to ask these two questions, for at Pentecost our Lord poured out his Spirit upon peoples of many races and nations, honoring them by having the Gospel of his Incarnate love proclaimed to them in their own tongues – an affirmation that He knows their cultures, loves them, and is willing that his own mission be incarnated to them and their culture.
And I want to affirm again that to me one of the greatest joys we have at CTR is that we do have among us some who are of minority races and ethnicities, and that we, as Anglicans, have among us here in New England churches of several ethnicities and further have, around the world, a great common fellowship of many peoples and tribes and languages and nations, the unity of which we take very seriously. It’s delightfully a foretaste of God’s new world, as the vision of the book of Revelation sets out.
But we are not there yet. The events of these days have me wrestling anew with the above two questions, in prayer, before our Lord Jesus. I invite you to join me in this. I will be leading our leadership as we consider how we might, as a church, better engage with those two questions in the coming months.
May Jesus Christ be praised,