Let’s pretend there’s a conference today, and you’re in attendance—whether at the large venue (distancing and masks required, sanitizer everywhere), or at home via the internet. Everyone’s nervous. Fear is evident. Here’s why: the title of the conference is, “The Only End of Racism.” Jesus is the speaker.
Taking a large liberty, here’s what I think He would say.
“I’m glad you’ve come. I’ve come for you, too. I’ve not come to burden you, not to scold you, not to instruct you, not even to change your mind. I’ve come to change you. And you’ll be glad for it.
“I am what you seek. I am the end of racism—and much more.
“For centuries you and your forbears have squabbled and fought over who is superior and who is lesser. You have marked this argument by differences in color, differences in ability, practice, location, history, and more. Apart from me, this will not end, because it’s how you distinguish and identify yourselves. This is the mess of humanity—it’s the mess you’re in—and I am here to solve it and save it by creating another humanity. A new one—in me.
“You have heard that the change of being “born again” includes receiving me, and that is correct. I am happy to live in you, there to do everything together, you and me. But what you do not know is that I am here to receive you into me. As with so many things, you will not see it, but it is no less true. In me, I am making one new humanity. Here, in me, you cannot judge yourselves according to your color—there is only mine. In me, you cannot judge yourselves by your abilities, you cannot judge yourselves by your faithfulness, you cannot judge yourselves by your righteousness, your practice or history. There is only mine.
“All that I am is perfect, and when you believe and receive me, I include you in me. In me, there is nothing you must achieve, nothing you should fear, nothing you must conquer, nothing you can lose. In me, all is given and all is yours. In me is where you live. At the cross, I brought you into me, and through death, put an end to your former humanity and its judgmental hostility. Through the resurrection, I have made you into a new humanity, where you are in union and nothing angers nor divides, because you are at peace in me. I have made it so. In here, you are not foreigners, you are not strangers to each other; you are intimately and literally connected together in my body. You are fellow citizens in a new kingdom, where judgment and debate have forever ended, and all is well.
“In me, I have built a new home, and have been adding believers to my building for centuries; apostles, prophets, servants, teachers, encouragers, givers, leaders, and more—all who have gifts from my house that enable me to express myself in the world. This is the new humanity, created in me, serving and inviting the old to become the new. This is how it is with me because it’s how it is in me.
“I want many of you to become more familiar with life in me—to know yourselves here so you can more confidently know yourselves in the world. I am with you! But more importantly, you are with me. You know that nothing separates us; not now, not ever. It cannot happen
“I want many of you to welcome me and to find your life with me. I will come to you and make my earthly home in you, and you will find rest for your souls. And I will prove to you that you are secure with me, because you live in me, and I will never forsake you, let alone my body. How could I? It’s you I offer to make new; I in you, and you in me.
“This is why I am here today; I am speaking to my body. Rethink where you are and how it is where you are—in me—and with the new humanity of my body, and live by faith from here. This is my building.
“I am speaking to those not yet part of my body; think again of what I am offering you. Believe me, and I will live in you, making you well. And we will do everything together—you and I. Believe me, and you will live in me, and you will know perfect security, perfect identity, and perfect relationship with me and with my new humanity. Here, in my building.
“I have already opened the way to you. I am what you seek—and I am for you. I’ll be seeing you.”
And with that, the conference ends. Amen.
Here’s the passage of scripture that you should have:
Ephesians 2:11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (which is done in the body by human hands) – 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.