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On this Juneteenth

 “Racism is a sin precisely because it keeps us from obeying God’s command to love our neighbor, and because it has its roots in pride and arrogance… Rev. Billy Graham, from a 1993 message 

 The much beloved evangelist Billy Graham believed racial hostility to be the primary social problem facing our world in his years of ministry. He called on churches, pastors, and God’s people time and again to take a stand against racial intolerance and shine the love of Christ to all people. 

 Here’s a bit more taken from his 1993 message on racism:  

From the systematic horror of “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia to the random violence ravaging our inner cities, our world seems caught up in a tidal wave of racial and ethnic tension. This hostility threatens the very foundations of modern society. 

We must not underestimate the devastating effects of racism on our world. Daily headlines chronicle its grim toll: divided nations and families, devastating wars and human suffering on an unimaginable scale, a constant downward spiral of poverty and hopelessness, children cruelly broken in body and warped in heart and mind.  

The list is long, but for the sensitive Christian, it is even longer: whole peoples poisoned by violence and racial hatred and closed to the gospel as a result; indifference and resistance by Christians who are intolerant toward those of other backgrounds, ignoring their spiritual and physical needs. 

Racism — in the world and in the church — is one of the greatest barriers to world evangelization… 

 While written in 1993, it is just as applicable today! We must repent of this sin. God’s people cannot afford to turn a blind eye or stand aside waiting for those who govern to make necessary changes. We possess the love of Christ in our lives and hold His command to “love your neighbor as yourself” in our hearts. Action required.  

 What can you do today to make a difference in our world? To heal wounds? To set aside differences, pull down walls, and eliminate pre-conceived notions? Christians should be leading the charge of love and restoration in this area. The church should bring the change!  

 My prayer this week—Lord, please bring to light any racial misunderstandings or discord in my life. Help me love all people as you have loved me. I believe Christians can make a true change in this world as we put our differences aside and love like you. Thank you for loving all people, for dying for all people and making it possible for us to become more like you.