A front page article of the New York Times today reported "A Racial Divide is Bridged by Recession". Remarkably a suburb of Atlanta is experiencing the easing of once sharp racial tensions as whites and blacks mingle in welfare offices and food banks. The article contends, "nothing else has worked to remove barriers as quickly as economic hardship". Blessed be the tie that binds.
Christians take note - rubbing racial shoulders is still newsworthy! We're not even talking about whites and blacks liking each other. All they have to do is cordially share a waiting room and the Times will slot that phenomenon next to Obama's China tour as front page material. I guess those (white) people who think race doesn't matter in America probably aren't selling newspapers.
Ephesians 2 is vehemently pointed in its vision for race in religious life. On our best days, we as the church understand the first half of the chapter - Jesus' death and resurrection achieves vertical reconciliation. But we rarely venture into the latter half - Jesus' death and resurrection achieves horizontal reconciliation. In other words, 2.5% of American churches can be considered racially diverse.
In reality, a vision for blacks and whites outside the gospel can scarcely hope to achieve more than a waiting room reconciliation. Only the gospel grounds a fellow citizenship, a dwelling place for God made up of the awkward, uncomfortable, self-sacrificing joining of all races.
But I guess the Times makes much of racial hobnobbing in Henry County because they haven't found it anywhere else.