Dave Brisbin 6.28.20
The current unrest over race relations has opened and even forced the opportunity for honest discussion about race and persistent inequality in our country. Unfortunately amid the demonstrations and destruction, the extreme voices are the ones heard the loudest, and emotions and rhetoric are high. Is it possible in this climate to actually talk to one another, to learn things we don’t know about each other’s culture and experience that is different from our own? And can we, will we use this present crisis as a head start down the path of self exploration to identify our own biases, hidden or otherwise, that keep us from being fully present to others regardless of race, creed, or political positions?

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We can allow this crisis to further our growth or we can try to wriggle off the hot seat and retreat to familiar patterns. In a fascinating story from the Gospels, Jesus appears to perpetuate the biased and racist attitudes of the Jews of his day, by essentially calling a Gentile woman a “dog,” the common slur Jews used for those they considered ethnically and legally unclean. What is Jesus doing here? What is he trying to teach us about sticking with the difficult and uncomfortable conversations until we can break through and begin to see the content of character and faith in people beneath the condition of their container or the color of their skin?

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