Stepping into a Multi-Cultural World | Racial Reconciliation & The Gospel
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Ps. 139:13-14
One of many gospel-driven steps towards engagement in racial reconciliation involves orphan care, foster care, and adoption. Our families, our lives, and our perspectives change when we step into the multi-cultural world of foster care, orphan care and adoption. We no longer see people as projects, but we see them as image bearers of Christ who eagerly desire and need authentic relationship.
When we begin the journey to care for the fatherless, the orphan, and the widow we enter a journey into the heart of God for a kingdom and a people of all socio-economic levels, all races, all cultures, all nations, and all languages. Cross-cultural adoptive and foster families soon learn the complexities and realities of the sins of racism, bigotry, resentment, and prejudice. These families begin quickly to understand that the Kingdom of God is more precious because it is only in our Father’s family that the differences in our epidermis are truly celebrated.
My friend Jeremy Haskins, a pastor at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington, KY, recently wrote a blog post about processing the events of last week with his black and white sons, he writes, “Because they are brothers, racism isn’t a social issue. It’s a family issue. May it be the same for family of God. Local churches ought to be the go to place for the world to see what racial reconciliation and familial love that transcends skin color looks like.”
Within God’s great economy Black Lives Matter, Babies Lives in the Womb Matter, People with Down Syndrome Matter, Babies Born-with-only-a-brain-stem Lives Matter, Elderly lives Matter, Prostitutes Lives Matter, and All Lives Matter because we are created in the Imago Dei—the very image of God.
Beloved, let’s make sure that we read Psalm 139 in completion and with all context. Psalm 139 is not just a pro-birth passage reminding us that the Lord fashioned us and knew us in our mother’s womb. Psalm 139 is about a God from whom we cannot hide and who values life as precious beginning inside the womb but carry forth on the other side of the womb as well.
Brother and Sister in Christ, I beg and plead with you, let’s care as much about life that has been born as we do life in the womb. Love, minister, and speak truth in love to the woman contemplating abortion. Reach out a hand to the 14-year-old who has been displaced from his mom for years, is rebelling against his foster family, and who could wreak havoc to your world. Embrace the uniqueness of a child with cerebral palsy from Asia who may never be able to speak the words “thank-you” or “I love you.” Adopt a child from a different ethnicity as the Lord leads and show that all life matters because it reflects the glory and image of our Great God.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27
We are promised that one day our Savior will return, and it is imminent. He will come in all regalia and glory and usher in healing for our world that is broken and torn apart by the curse of sin. Jesus himself reminds us before his departure, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” What a glorious day that will be. As the old hymn reminds us, “One day the trumpet will sound for His coming, One day the skies with His glories will shine, Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing My Savior, Jesus . . . Oh glorious day, of glorious day.”
Do we yearn for the coming of Jesus or are we more in love with this fallen/sinful world and our ambitions and agendas? Come, Lord Jesus! Come invade us with your grace, your gospel, and your glory. May we spread the seeds of your kingdom to reconcile races to you!
It is the responsibility of the Lord’s children to show racial reconciliation and the gospel in caring for the fatherless. Has the Lord put your family in a place where you could adopt or foster a precious child in need and in so doing disciple them in the gospel of Christ? May the Lord burden you today with His command in James 1:27 to care for orphans in distress.
Partner with Lifeline today by visiting LifelineChild.org to engage in this multicultural world. Donate to the ministry, to apply to adopt, to sign up for a trip through our (un)adopted ministry and visit orphans in need, to apply to be a foster parent for a child in U.S. foster care, to volunteer in one of many ways for the sake of orphans, and ultimately to partner with us as we seek to take the gospel to the fatherless of all tribes, races, nations, and peoples.
“And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” – Revelation 5:9-10
O, Beloved, will you allow God to use the gospel through you to impact the life of a young image bearer?
This blog is part two of a two-part series on racial reconciliation. Read part two: The Lost Truth of Imago Dei | Racial Reconciliation & The Gospel.
Written by: Herbie Newell, President and Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services.
If you have time, you can read my friend Jeremy Haskins, complete blog post, “Confessions of a white pastor dad: My son’s black lives matter”
Jeremy writes, “Our pain isn’t a theory to Jesus. He stepped from the privileges of heaven right into our pain, suffering, and sin. He bore the brunt of a wicked government’s injustice but also the brunt of your rebellion against God. Our greatest sin isn’t against another race but against God.”