I remember the first time I saw a confederate flag in Tacoma, fixed to the back of a pickup truck and driving down 6th Ave without a care in the world.
I gasped of shock. It was during the 2016 presidential election and this memory crystalizes the division for me. The Other. The Right Christian and the Wrong Christian. Unfriending online and in reality. Everyone says, “We’ve never been so divided.” Perhaps we have never been this divided as a country (although the Civil War might beg to differ), but as a group of faithful following the teachings of Christ, we have certainly been this divided.
So then, even to the Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life. ~ Acts 11:18
Peter is speaking to Jewish people here, assuring them that Gentiles (anyone who was not a Jew) could experience the gift of the Holy Spirit as well and should be treated with the same respect as fellow Jews. But it’s not really this verse talking about inclusion of people who were from different ethnicities and backgrounds that tells me there was division, it’s the word even.
Even the Gentiles. . .
That little phrase says so much to us about the conflicts of the time. It invokes a little shock, the idea that the original listener was going to be the tiniest bit horrified and would need some reassurance. Yes,
Even the Gentiles.
A friend of mine was at a gas station when a young man came inside, loud and agitated. The cashier instantly told the man to settle down or get out, but when confronted, the young man (who happened to be Black) said that he was upset because when he was outside a tow truck driver started calling him racial slurs. The cashier apologized while my friend went out to stick up for the guy, including taking the tow truck driver’s picture so she could report him. The tow truck driver started arguing with HER, swearing and calling her racial slurs!
My friend didn’t back down. She called the tow truck company.hen they heard what had happened, they were pretty upset. Hopefully, the racist tow truck driver has long since been fired.
When my friend told me this story, naturally my first thought was: “she is awesome!” But my second thought was:
“Wait, was this in Tacoma?”
Oh yes, it was. And not 1956, Tacoma, last month Tacoma.
Maybe some of you reading this are not surprised.
Maybe some of you reading this are a little surprised, but not too concerned because you know you are not racist.
Watching How to Train Your Dragon 2. I turn to my kids — “Hey guys, what ethnicity did all of those good guys belong to?” They look at me blankly. “Umm…. white?” “And what ethnicity did that one lone bad guy look like?” Realization starts crossing their faces. “So guys, all the kids across our […]
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people […]
This woman was unbearable… Years ago in seminary, I took a class on “Personal Development”. The whole class focused on getting to know how God has shaped and formed you, both your personality and spiritual gifts. It was an easy class with only a handful of students. Most were the typical easygoing types but there […]
“oh my gosh!” “That’s so weird!” “Did my wife call you?” These are the phrases I often hear on a Sunday morning. Sometimes with a smirk or a smile. Occasionally by an honestly befuddled guest. But more often by broken people through tear-filled eyes. They often gaze for a moment or two past what is […]
Right after I taught on truth. I told my son an untruth. The very moment I said it I believed it, so maybe it doesn’t count as a lie. It was a few minutes later I realized I was so very wrong. We were riding in the car discussing football practice. I said to my […]