Racial Reconciliation

Racial Reconciliation

“But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”

Genesis 11: 5-9 (NIV)

There were numerous passionate and heated events that took place around South Africa during the month of February, particularly by young individuals, who exposed the realities and hardships they experience. Because of this we are seeking God’s wisdom and guidance by diving deeper into His word. As the Common Good team, we have felt the need to pray through the controversial, yet undeniably prevalent issue of Racial Reconciliation.

We have been profoundly struck by how the Bible provides revelation for racial issues. Its depiction of creation cuts the nerve of racism at its source. It insists that all human beings are of “one blood” (Acts 17:26).

The scripture that we have reflected upon and prayed through is Genesis 11. At the tower of Babel we see how God separated people on the basis of their idolatrous intentions.

Timothy Keller puts it so strikingly in his book, Generous Justice (pg 121), “human pride and lust for power leads to racial and national division, strife and hatred”.  It is because of our human greed and prejudice against those different from ourselves, that has led to oppression and intolerance between the individuals of our country.

We have been challenged to reflect on how our own hearts, with its pride and lust for power, have contributed towards broken relationships.  We have been asking God to show us where we need to repent, where we need to receive afresh the grace that God alone offers.  The transformation of people that we want to see in our country starts with us.

Our prayer, too, is that the church would be modelling something to society: that unity is possible.  Ephesians 2 and other texts show us that what Christ-followers have in common outweighs their differences.  We pray that the church would lead reconciliation efforts, that Christ-followers would bring grace into conversations.

May we be a people who are shaped by the gospel – that we would listen, that we would care, that we would bring grace.  Lord, transform our hearts to bring your shalom to our city.

How are you praying for your city and country?

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2 Comments on "Racial Reconciliation"

  • Jenny Tait says

    Dear Tayla, what an inspiring piece! Thank you. I worship at Tokai Methodist Church. We are trying to organise an evening prayer meeting with other churches in the area, to pray for our country. For me this would include praying about our own role in ongoing inequality.Do you think your Tokai worshippers would like to join us? I’d love to have a chat with you about it some time, or with Richard Lundle, or maybe the Constantiaberg leaders.
    Could you perhaps advise me who best to talk with?
    Jenny Tait

    • admin says

      We have been so encouraged to connect and work with the leaders of others churches for the greater good of our city, because of this exciting comment! Thank you for reaching out Jenny.

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