The Holy Spirit spoke through His Word at Velocity Church in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Price Hill today. Pastor Steve Staton expounded Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 to a gathered group of people who were probably 50/50 black/white.
And I wrote down a few thoughts.
- The Gospel of forgiveness for terrible people through the bloody Cross of Jesus Christ has something to say to every uncomfortable and sin-stained conflict our culture could bubble up. And in the race-based conflicts that have sprung up in 2016, it does particularly in (at least) this way: The Gospel produces empathy. If you do not care about someone else’s pain, whether you end up determining it is wholly justified, partially justified, or unjustified, you are not fully grasping what Jesus did when He forsook His throne to rescue you from your self-inflicted pain and spiritual suicide.
- The people of Jesus should lead the way in racial reconciliation, because they have a key ingredient the people of the world lack: Peace with God. And true peace with your fellow man flows from peace with your Maker.
- Satan loves hate and hates love. He would have you start by loving your friends and hating your enemies and deteriorate into hating your friends, your enemies, and your God. But in Luke 10, where he was successful in sowing discord between two ethnic Jews and another ethnic Jew, he ran into a brick wall with the heart of an ethnic Samaritan. This God-changed man of faith spent his cash and his time rescuing a busted and bloody stranger of a different race, having no idea of how the man got to the side of road unconscious. But of course he knew full well what God has done for him, and so he knew (from the heart) what he was compelled to do for others.
- It is a testament to the glory of the beautiful triune God that Heaven’s songs will be sung by every tribe, tongue, and nation.