Lift Every Voice And Sing
Racial reconciliation happens when God takes center stage over every other preference. I watched the initial response of the parishioners at the Liberty Hill Baptist Church Cleveland, OH ( a predominately African American congregation). Some of them looked "put off" as these young Caucasian missionaries (from Texas) set up in our church to lead Sunday worship. They traveled to different locations in Cleveland (Ohio) to share the Gospel in song.
This choir could SING! They were not singing to impress, but were worshipping the Lord! The harmony was incredible and the orchestra, made up of middle and high school students, had discipline and depth. However, the early songs were met with cordial claps from parishioners. This was a Sunday morning worship in an African American church (let me say how I feel it, this was a Sunday morning worship in a BLACK CHURCH). There is no such thing as “cordial claps” on a Sunday morning in a BLACK CHURCH (I'm just saying). Either it is WORSHIP or not! There was an elephant in the room. . . ummmm. . .they were white! Now, I can play the political game, but I am going to keep it real. They were white and our congregation had to make an adjustment...(if you still don't get it, just shoot me an email).
If we follow the Word of God and the example of Jesus Christ, racial reconciliation just...pours...out!
THEN IT HAPPENED…one of the young soloist began to sing. She looked nervous, her rocking back and forth was a bit awkward (I admit), but as she sang tears began to fall. LET’S STOP RIGHT HERE! There is a semi-unwritten rule in the black church. Sincerity is endearing. These "white tears" caused one senior MOTHER of the church, to stand and shout, “That's alright baby, sing your song for Jesus.” When that happened, it was like God said, “AH HA, I was waiting on someone to open the door for Me to pour out my Spirit on this service. From that moment on, It was no longer “cordial claps,” but praise and worship. It wasn’t about white singers in a black church. It was about praising the name of the Lord. At the end of the service, there was a wave of love that permeated the atmosphere. Hugs, kisses, and conversations lasting well after the service had ended.
2 Corinthians 5:17,18 states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creature: the old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” Christians can activate the ministry of reconciliation because, through Jesus Christ, it was obtained. Maybe the Lord is waiting on someone to open the door.