-Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
The shocking killings of nine church members inside the Emanuel AME church in Charleston was a raw reminder of the sin of racism. Racism is defined as Prejudice plus Power. Racism is born when one group with prejudice and power subjugates another group with little power. The sad reality is that our country was built on the evil assumption that Europeans would --and should-- have power over native Americans and Africans. Eventually this principle was simplified to "Whites" having power over "Blacks" and other people of color. This evil system went unchecked for hundreds of years. It is no wonder that even today we have remnants of this old unbiblical system in our society.
Jesus taught the opposite. Jesus taught that whoever did the will of God was a child of God. The color of one's skin has no meaning whatsoever. God looks at the inside of a person, at our faith, our love and our desire to help and serve our neighbor.
St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians,
There is no longer Jew or Greek,
There is no longer slave or free,
There is no longer male or female,
For all of you are one in Christ.
As Christians we have the wonderful, joy filled opportunity to share love and grace to all of God's people. Every day here in Memphis we see the need for more healing and more love. Let St. Luke be a place of healing, reconciliation, and hope.
Jesus said in the Gospel of Mark, "my house will be a house of prayer for all people." What a wonderful image of God's house, full of all of God's children in our diversity.
Let us be united in Christ and united in love,