The Heart of Jesus and Our Church

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion. Just as it seems we are coming out of a tough season of quarantine and self-isolation with COVID-19, our nation is in turmoil, yet again, as racism rears its ugly head.

If you’re anything like me, the constant flood of emotion poured out on social media has been overwhelming. I’ve cried tears of pain and anger as I listened to the testimonies of several close friends as they recounted personal encounters of racial profiling and hatred. However, I’ve also watched the global Church take a stand behind our brothers and sisters facing oppression and seek reconciliation instead of standing idly by.

As I searched the scriptures this week, looking for Jesus’ heart on the matter, I came across many instances where Jesus stood up for the oppressed – healing the woman with the issue of blood; going to Samaria to set a sin-captive woman free; healing a blind beggar. However, one thing that should be noted is that racism is not a new construct. In fact, it was extremely present in Biblical days! We see it with the Jewish people and the Samaritans, the Jews vs the Gentiles. Prejudice is not limited just to people of color, but all minority groups, orphans, widows, foreigners – these are the marginalized that Jesus calls us to love.

In Proverbs 31:8-9, scripture says this, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

George Floyd couldn’t breathe. He tried to speak up for himself. Countless others have tried to speak up for themselves and have been unheard, and even worse – heard, but abandoned in their circumstance. As believers, though, we are called to a new standard. Maybe throughout this whole process, you’ve been asking: “What can I do?” We are to have unity of mind (1 Peter 3:8), ABOVE ALL ELSE put on love (Colossians 3:14), aim for restoration (2 Corinthians 13:11) and pursue what makes for peace (Romans 14:19).

This week, I want to invite you to open your Bible and read the scriptures I’ve listed above and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you so that you can fully pursue what makes for peace and love others in a deeper way this week!

Can’t wait to see you ONLINE this weekend at either our 8:45 am or 10:45 am worship experiences this Sunday!

Ravenne Pantoja
Worship Leader – Sanford Campus

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