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Day 4

Day 4

Author: Pat Moy
June 11, 2020

 

Ephesians 2:14-22
“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.  His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.  He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.  Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”


“Unity” and “the mystery of the gospel” are recurring themes throughout Ephesians.  The mystery of the gospel is explained in Ephesians 3:6, “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”  Jesus Christ is our peace.  He is able to reconcile both of them (Gentiles and Jews or people of color and white people) to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.  As brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to come together in unity as we participate and persevere in the goal towards racial reconciliation.  We are to be the light of the world and bring glory and praise to God.

God impressed Ephesians 2:14-22 upon my heart so I felt compelled to slowly meditate on and memorize this passage.  Perhaps it was the result of attending an exhibit two years ago called “Then They Came for Me” about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and the demise of civil liberties featuring the photography of Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams.  After the exhibit I felt a passion to learn more about issues of race and stand up against racial injustices rather than to just painfully tolerate them.  Within my first year of employment at SPC, I began to learn more about racial justice and reconciliation from the books and webinars that Pastor Kevin encouraged me to read and participate in.

After the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, I felt both angry and sad since I grew up (from kindergarten to 7th grade) in South Shore on the south side of Chicago (an African-American community).  While growing up, I observed many systemic racial injustices that continue to exist and persist (after 47 years since I moved from South Shore).  My initial response to all that was happening was to lament these racial injustices.   Ecclesiastes 4:1-3 describes my lament, “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:  I saw the tears of the oppressed – and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors – and they have no comforter.  And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.  But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.”  I feel very sad whenever I go back to visit South Shore and see how it still is.  I often wonder what happened to the African-American friends that I left behind when I moved away. 

At the end of 7th grade, my father’s dream of buying and owning a house finally came true when we moved away to Willow Springs (a white community).  Another dream that my father always expressed was to see all of his children graduate from college since he didn’t have the opportunity to go to college (due to the internment camps and resettlement) and worked in a factory his entire life.  It was important to him that his children attend excellent schools in the suburbs that would prepare them to go to and graduate from college.  I am so grateful that I was able to attend an excellent high school (academically) and then go on to college and graduate from Illinois Institute of Technology.  As I look back over my life, God providentially and sovereignly allowed me to experience life in an African-American community, a white community, and an Asian-American church. I need to continue to listen and learn with humility about racial injustices, lament, confess and repent, stand up against racial injustices, and participate and persevere in the goal towards racial reconciliation.  It’s so easy for people of color (myself included) to be overcome by anger and bitterness, cynicism, despair or hopelessness, discouragement, doubt or unbelief, exhaustion both emotionally and physically, and fear.   May we “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles”, and “run with perseverance the race marked out for us”.  “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

 

Prayer

 

Almighty God, there is so much anger, hatred, and racial tension all around us.  Remind us that You are our Comforter as we grieve the loss of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and lament.  You are our Deliverer who is able to deliver us from racial injustices and oppression.  You are the God of hope who enables us to overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit despite despair, discouragement, division, and doubt.  You are our Peace who reconciles both of us (people of color and white people) to God through the cross.  May we point people to be reconciled to You as well as to each another.  May we be the light of the world as we participate and persevere in the goal towards racial reconciliation.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

 

Pat Moy


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