One of the most popular televisions shows to grace the screen, was the great Star Trek. She show captured the encounters of the crew of the Starship Enterprise which explored space, encountering new places, people, perspectives and predicaments. Each week, the smooth music would come on, accompanied by melodious voices, and the vocal accounts of Captain Kirk which spoke, “Space, the final frontier.” Since then, we have seen many space explorations, and gathered much data about the world that surrounds us.
After the recent shootings in South Carolina at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, it is time to began looking at the Kingdom of God, and to address the final frontier left to explore; race. Yes, Race; The Final Frontier.
Now, I know what you are thinking! We all love each other. Yes, we truly do. There are many places where all races worship together. Yes, there truly are, but there is a reason that Sunday mornings have been labeled as the most segregated hours in the world. Though many churches have broken the barrier, there are still many that hold on to race as a dividing factor, not excluding people with laws and regulations, but not ministering to and or meeting the needs of those that do not look like the majority, preach messages that are discriminatory in root and deed, take stances that are more political that prophetic and or not friendly or receptive to those who walk through their doors, and thus they never feel safe behind their walls.
This is a church issue, not aimed at once race or color, we must all open our eyes and our hearts, and treat each other like a brother. Honestly, we act like distant cousins three times removed. We will attend a rally together because its like a family reunion, but as for each week, we choose to go our separate ways, and make decisions as islands that present messages that are opposite to what our words say. Our deeds are far from inclusive, our words remain exclusive, while the Gospel that we preach stand opposed to our actions and vocals. Think it not prophetic that Gods command was to go to “all nations“. And that Pentecost occurred not only when the people were “all together in one place” but when there were visitors from over 10 nations gathered as well. Not only where they gathered, but the Holy Spirit made them speak in the language of the persons they encountered.
Jesus was a barrier breaker! He stood above the foolishness of segregation and discrimination, eating and serving everyone, reteaching the Kingdom of God to man by redefining us all as brother and sister, and neighbor. He served as an agent to bring us together, not section us apart. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit brought unity. He aided in teaching all things, and bringing not just power, but peace, enabling us to think and to act as Christ did for the sake of bringing glory to God and people into the Kingdom. We are to be unifyer!
Of course you ask, what does this have to do with the shooting? How does this relate to the 9 lives taken? Well simple, we are to go forth and make disciples. On both levels, whether this man is a non believer who needs to be introduced to Christ, or whether he is a man filled with prejudice, we as a church have to be carriers of the message of Christ, which was filled with love and truth. Though our past presents pockets of genuine hatred, and has left us soaking and stewing in a pot of hurt, distrust, and stereotypes I still believe there is a Balm! There is a balm that can and will heal if and when it is applied.
Thus, Race; The Final Frontier! Once and for all, we need churches that will join this journey of exploration! We must continue until churches are just churches. We must press forward until there is no Black church, White church, Hispanic church…….. We must get to a day when there is church. A place where it can be said they are “all together in one place”. A place where people will say, they are “all together on one accord“. A place where it can be said “they had all things in common“. Yes, a place where it an be said, “they are completely one” so that the world can truly “know that you sent me”. This place, that was God’s intent.
It is time for the Kingdom of God to set out on a mission to “explore strange new worlds”. It’s time for us to seek to further understand each other. We must make the effort to study the differences, and to appreciate the many facets of all cultures not to correct them and to show them our way of worship and praise, but to see how others interact with the Lord and in some cases, bring home what we have learned in an effort to expand our forms of expression to the Lord. We must cease to see ourselves as having the sole ownership on right, and to acknowledge that what we see as civilized or orderly, might be perfect for another possibly even to you.
It’s time for the Kingdom of God “to seek out new life and new civilizations”. It is the season for Kingdom, not for church! The Kingdom is beyond a building or a Non-Profit Organization. Kingdom is about seeking uncharted areas and establishing those who have yet to meet the King of Kings! It is an effort to cover the globe with disciples of The Most High! Its a planting effort, that includes established portions of the Kingdom, to pool resources to establish new places for people to gather, and not just efforts to build membership for oneself.
In sum, we must “boldly go where no man has gone before”. We must work to show the true love and oneness of God, being willing to change our perspective of those from a color to a Kingdom! When we move to acknowledge citizenship, the foolishness of skin tone will be a thing of the past. Our Kingdom can advance and lead the charge that breaks down environments that encourage and breed hatred, as opposed to ones that sit silently in support, not addressing those outside and inside our walls that harbor these un-Christlike thoughts! We must stand united not just in word, but in deed, standing against injustice that happens to anyone. Our voice must be unified, and not one that trembles with fear. Truth is truth! “I will hold you accountable for their blood“, I believe God is screaming from the heavens, for all those who know what is right, and watch those perform sinful unjust acts. God holds those of us, not just in the pulpit, who know that we are in error accountable for what we know, but also for sharing with those who are still acting in ignorance. If you know, It is time for your to speak up! And be bold about it!
Scriptures featured in bold and italics in blog.