Jesus delivered a man from a demon that had kept him speechless. The demon gone, the man started talking a blue streak, taking the crowd by complete surprise. But some from the crowd were cynical. “Black magic,” they said. “Some devil trick he’s pulled from his sleeve.” Others were skeptical, waiting around for him to prove himself with a spectacular miracle. Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Any country in civil war for very long is wasted. A constantly squabbling family falls to pieces.”
It seems all but impossible to walk from one space into another without stepping into some sort of polarizing tension. You can hardly tune into any media source and not immediately sense civil war. From one end of the political, social, and racial spectrum to the other, sides seem to continue to dig more and more into their position.
I gathered with a small group of pastors last night. We are all friends. One called us together to tell us where he’s been and what he believes God has revealed to him. I was greatly disturbed at the idea that he presented. I was disturbed because of the enormous potential to even further polarize friends, people groups, and even churches. I love my friend and really believe that is not his intent. I believe he has a sincere passion to minister to a specific people group he has been called. Yet regardless of the purity of his intent, the position presented contains traces of a radioactive racism in a nation already fighting for it’s melting pot soul.
My position is this: The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of Reconciliation. In such a divisive and war ravaged world, “Christ has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant.” (2 Corinthians 3:6) As ambassadors of Christ we are called to stand in the middle, reconciling all men just as Jesus did on the cross. “For he himself is our peace, who has made two groups ONE and has destroyed the barrier, dividing the wall of hostility. …His purpose was to create in himself ONE new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross.” (Ephesians 2:14-16) By the grace of God, I am not going to take a side. I’m going to stand in middle and be a son of God. “Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9) In the middle of a nation and/or house divided against itself, I choose to gather with Jesus. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)
Have you found yourself in the middle of a divisive house? Are you struggling with inner turmoil over race issues and social civil war within our nation? Pray this:
I thank you that you show no favoritism. Thank you that each and every life is fearfully and wonderfully made by you. I choose to be like you. I choose to stand right in the middle of the conflict as a peacemaker. There is neither Jew or Gentile for we are all one in Christ Jesus — only saved and unsaved, wounded or healed, alienated or reconciled. Forgive me for any harm I have done to another, and heal my own hurt as I bury all wrongs done me at the foot of the cross. Fill me with the extreme measure of grace promised, that I can be a competent minister of hope and healing. In Jesus name.