As we join with other Christians around the world for the Week of Prayer we pray that our hearts will be open to see and hear the many ways in which racism continues to destroy lives, and to discern the steps we can take as individuals and communities to heal the hurts and build a better future for everyone.
Made in the image of God
In the first book of the Bible, we are told that we are made in the image of God, not just individually but corporately. All of humanity, people of all ethnicities, cultures, languages and religions, together represent the image of the Creator. This means that to deny that image in any one race, indeed in any one person, is to reject God’s presence in the whole of humanity.
As society becomes more indifferent to the needs of others, we, as the children of God, must learn to take up the cause of our oppressed brothers and sisters by speaking truth to power and if necessary, plead their case so that they may live in peace with justice. In doing this we will always do the right thing, will always be recognising God’s image in all of us.
Our commitment to eradicate and to be healed of the sin of racism requires us to be prepared and willing to be in relationship with our Christian sisters and brothers. That will be a sign of unity for the whole world.
We give them names: refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, economic migrants, some more welcome than others. But you know their human names because they are your kin, stamped with your image, divinely human.
You made us, God, in your own image, and then became one of us, proud of those you have made.
Make us proud of being part of that worldwide family, and eager to discover and celebrate your image in every person, every culture, every nation that we are privileged to encounter.
How does your church welcome those new to your community?
How can we see the image of God in people we find difficult to love?