Relationships, Race & The Coming Kingdom pt. 1

This is less of a commentary on current socio-political events, and more of a biblical reflection on the nature of God, the dignity of the human soul, and the brokenness of the human heart.

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Recognizing Our Brokenness
“This Revolution is genuine because it was born from the same womb that always gives birth to massive social upheavals – the womb of intolerable conditions and unendurable situations.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rethink
No true-to-life story begins, or develops, without some kind of brokenness to heal, a battle to fight, or a situation in need of salvation. There have always been circumstances which create the need for resolution, restoration, and renewal. Few people (if any) would deny that our world is not as it should be. Corruption, abuses, violence, deceitfulness and self-preservation -with their accompanying vices- are rampant from counties to countries.

Our current domestic upheaval around issues of race, politics and systemic injustices are a case in point. We live in these places, and are a part of these communities. We’re all impacted by, and a part of, the problems our world faces because “The seed of every sin known to man is in my heart” (Robert Murray McCheyne). Our first course of action in every situation is to align ourselves with reality, to agree with God about the truth we may have hitherto been unable to see, hear or understand. In short, to repent.

Read
Nathan Rebukes David
1 And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. 4 Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 5 Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6 and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8 And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. 9 Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight?” You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.”
– 2 Samuel 12:1-9, ESV

Reflect
A) When it’s just you and Our Father, where in your soul are you keenly aware you’re in desperate need of restoration? How does that feel? What is Our Father’s response to you acknowledging this?

B) What are some situations in your own circle of relationships that have known pain from the brokenness in our own souls? What do you do with that?

C) Where would you like to see the LORD bring healing and renewal right now? Where does hope lead you? Ask Him.

Reframe
“Oh Lord, you who know how we are made and remember that we are but dust, we confess to you our weakness of body, heart, and mind. We do not know what or how to pray in the face of all that threatens to overwhelm us today. We ask therefore that you would give us your Spirit in order to intercede for us with wordless groans, so that we might know that you have not abandoned us, but rather met us in the lowliness of our humanity where, to our great surprise, you birth new life through your Word of Life. In your name we pray. Amen.”

– ‘A Pentecost Prayer for Those Who Don’t Know What to Pray’ by Rev. Dr. W. David O. Taylor, Anglican priest and Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary [http://artspastor.blogspot.com]

[image credit: Clay Banks, Unsplash.com]

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