#blacklivesmatter

#BlackLivesMatter has circled the globe as a movement to awaken us to the instinctive value of every life, but particularly black lives, that are constantly prejudiced against, treated as of less value, abused, and marginalised in society.

In so many respects I am not qualified to speak on this topic. I am white, privileged, and far from the front line of these conversations. And I have no personal experience of the kind of discrimination felt by black women, men, and children around the world.

But silence is worse. If for no other reason, it is in solidarity and grief that I want to say: #BlackLivesMatter. And more: #YouMatter.

One of CCVWs favourite songs for All Ages is “We’re all the great big family of God” and it is quite telling when we point to each other, look into each other’s eyes and sing “You and you and you…. We’re part of the great big family of God”. Yes, there is plenty of division and prejudice across the family of God, and for that reason the Archbishop of Canterbury, at a recent General Synod, offered repentance for all the ways the church has failed to communicate genuine acceptance of the value of every member of the body of Christ. But beyond this, every human being – you and you and you and you – matter to God. I must look into the eyes of any black person and say “you matter” 

I should not even need to ask “why does every life matter?” but the murder of George Floyd in broad light means I need to tell you why you matter, and why #BlackLivesMatter.

Despite the Church’s chequered history, the Bible is absolutely clear:

  1. Every Human is made in the Image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).

It was heart rending to hear George Floyd repeatedly cry out “I can’t breathe”. God put that breath in you. You live because He made you. No one has the right to take that away.

2. God loved the world

John 3:16 tells us that the reason Jesus came into the world was because of the love of God. And that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Of course, we all have to respond personally/individually to His love: but that love is for every race, gender, class, age, and culture, across the globe.

3. I’m Blind

And, particularly, I am colour blind – not in the way that some say, as if I don’t see colour. But rather that I am blind to the way I subconsciously make judgments on the basis of colour. Those who say they are not prejudiced may be right; but we are called to examine ourselves, or perhaps more particularly, to allow others, and God’s Spirit, to examine our hearts and show us our blindness, and come to Him to open our eyes. The whole point about prejudice is that I can’t see it in myself. And, therefore, I apologise for all the times I fail to see it.

4. I’m called to love

“The most important {commandment},” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

And that love is to be shown in the kind of practical action of the Good Samaritan.

So, above all else: pray

Pray that you may value all God’s image bearers; that you may share the love of God around the world; that God would open your blind eyes to your prejudice; that you would love your neighbour as yourself.

A Christian is: a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks, and a hand through which Christ helps.” St. Augustine of Hippo

Check out this brilliant talk by Pastor Agu Irukwu – https://youtu.be/AmBP5dWH9zE

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