Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
Blog Number 26
June 29, 2020
The Reformed Church At Its Best
On Sunday afternoon I had the privilege of spending time with a group of people from many area Reformed Churches. We gathered at Van Saun Park, a very beautiful park here in Bergen County, NJ and our purpose was to pray together. Of course, as Christians we are socially responsible. We used social distancing as well as face masks. We are faithful, and trust in God’s protection but we also do not test him by doing stupid things and expect him to protect us from our own stupidity. Jesus calls us to be faithful, not foolish.
So, what did we pray for? Protection from Covid-19? Prosperity? The reopening of churches? Members of a political party? No. We prayed for unity in Jesus between all races and colors. The official name of our gathering was, “Prayer Gathering: Heal the Land of Racial Injustice through Unity, Reconciliation, and Justice.”
This issue has vexed Christ church since its inception. The first Christians were Jewish. It was difficult to bring Greeks into the community when they practiced very different customs than did the Jewish Christians. Racial lines were also transcended. An early conversion story in scripture is that of the disciple Phillip who was transported by the Holy Spirit to meet an Ethiopian Eunuch who wished to understand the scriptures of Jesus. The two spoke and the Eunuch was converted and baptized.
Race and culture have always been issues in the church. Sometimes we have dealt with these issues better than others. Most people with good heart don’t wish to mistreat people of other races and cultures, but that is different than embracing other types of people, respecting them and seeing them as equals. In my lifetime I have seen a huge improvement in racial/cultural relationships, but we have not reached the Christ-like standard of full acceptance.
Until then, let us all pray daily for the healing of fractures and the coming of unity. Let us also work toward this end. As we have been embraced by God let us embrace one another.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/