Before I went to Hong Kong for the first time, I was a picky eater. I would say that I loved all kinds of food, but would find ways to push aside or discretely overlook any dish involving the long list of offensive ingredients. So when I was preparing to live there for several months and understood that it would be a serious slight to my hosts if I didn’t partake, I needed to reexamine the truth of my culinary preferences.
In order to show true acceptance of the people with whom I shared space, I had to be willing to change the way I experienced the flavors and the sources of ingredients (pig’s fallopian tubes anyone?) I learned to ask my host not to share of what the dish was composed until after I tried it! But, wow, I would never have experienced so many amazingly creative and wildly tasty things if I held on to this “fact” of my dislike for such things.
To overcome racism, to be justice and righteousness in this world and live out the conviction that racism is not compatible with Christian teaching is a complex, nuanced endeavor requiring much more than doing a service project. It is also essential if we are to be a people who make disciples for the transformation of the world – all the world.
This is why we are spending these 6 weeks with this. So, to live out the conviction that racism is not compatible with Christian teaching is to be a just people – remember that justice and righteous go together in the Hebrew scriptures, indicating a recognition of injustice and working to make things right. We talked about how we must first understand and accept that God is Just pleased with us; that we don’t have to be superhuman, but are Just enough; that we are better together and must be of one heart, a Just unity; and that it is a vocation, a way of being, a Just calling.
Today’s readings tell us a bit more of what doing justice looks like. God speaks to the people of Israel through Isaiah…