• The Rev. Arianne Rice

Lenten Reflection: Friday in the Fifth Week of Lent

As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:27-28)

Many Christians today don’t fully realize that racial and cultural integration was an original mission of the first disciples of Jesus. Galatians, and similar passages in the epistles of Ephesians and Colossian, were a culmination of earlier biblical commands about how the children of God should always be welcoming to “outsiders.”

The early church was making a public statement, because baptism was a public and not a private event: In this community we will overcome the divisions between Jews and Greeks, men and women, slaves and free. If you don’t want to be part of the kind of community whose purpose is to bring people together, don’t join this community! Imagine churches in American making that kind of strong statement today. We need to reimagine that reality into being again.”

- Jim Wallace, America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America, p. 106

In what ways can Church of the Good Shepherd do a better job of letting theology shape our sociology?

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