“[…] Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” I Peter 3:15b
The news has been quite busy lately… coincidentally, so have I. With VBS in full swing at the moment and camp not too far away, my plate has been a smorgasbord on its own. I’ve also been studying some Mandarin Chinese for kicks and giggles and studying up on Chinese history in my (albeit small) free time.
All that to say: the news has snuck up on me. FIrst of all, we have had a whole bunch of racism in the news lately. As a white middle-class man, I am probably the least qualified to speak on the subject, but let’s be frank. We are all different. We are all made in the image of God. We live in a broken world, with a broken society, and a broken system of privilege. We, as a people, a nation, and a world humanity have written ourselves into a corner. It will take a great deal of effort to break out of this prison of pain, frustration, and brokenness. Thankfully, we have a big God that reminds us about how we should tackle this.
First, we should recognize privilege where it does happen. It does. Once we’ve recognized it, those of us who have it should work to wean ourselves off of it. This sounds like a huge step, and it is. Consider Jesus who, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but took on the very nature of a servant and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.” Our model should be Jesus who had every privilege, but gave them all up in order to share in the lives of others. As many people in the past have said, Jesus has already modeled the best life. Follow him and we will begin to build heaven on earth.
Have you talked to your kids about race? Have they asked questions? How do you as a parent deal with it? Where do you see hints of racism in your own life?
Secondly, and this is another huge topic I’m going to try and fit in as few words as possible. The Jenner debate. regardless of what you call the Jenner clan member currently in the news, it will probably come up in conversation, especially if you have an older child.
Post after post have argued one way and the other on many different sides of the divide. Here’s what it boils down to. Are you ready? If you are a Christian looking at this issue you have to wrestle with Scripture. God still speaks through the Bible, and you must be ready with an answer that you can find contained therein. As a parent and a Christian, you need to make sure that you are soaking in the life of Jesus and in the story of our big God daily.
We often try to argue people into a relationship with Jesus. Not once do I see Jesus do anything of the sort. If he wants a relationship, he begins a conversation. He looks for a need and meets it. He peers into the deepest, darkest recesses of the human being in front of him and finds what that person most truly needs – which is usually companionship, purpose, truth – and he gives it to them in the context of relationship. Jesus’ actions speak loudly. He turns expectations on their head and when he’s asked why he’s doing, whatever it is he’s doing, he’s ready with an answer. “There was a shepherd who had 99 sheep and lost one…” “There was a woman who had 10 silver coins and lost one…” “There was a man who had two sons…” “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick…” Cryptic, strange, thought-provoking.
Whoever does the asking, brothers and sisters, whether it be your kids, neighbors, coworkers, or passersby, be ready with your answer. Make sure it’s built on the solid foundation of Jesus life, words, and relationship with you. Make sure it’s in the context of relationship with that person. Give your answer, plant a seed, and then allow God to do the heavy lifting.