Summary: We are all made in God's image and have equal value and deserve equal justice.Our God is concerned about justice for the oppressed. The body of Christ must weep and suffer with those who weep and suffer, and do what we can to relieve their suffering.
A. Kent Hughes tells a story about John Reed, a man who drove a school bus in Australia.
1. The bus carried both whites and aborigines and the boys on the bus were constantly fussing and fighting about their racial differences.
2. Finally, John had heard all the bickering he could stand between the boys.
3. He stopped the bus on the side of the road and said to the white boys, “What color are you?” The boys answered, “White.”
a. John said, “No, you are green. All the boys who ride on this bus are green. Now, what color are you?” The white boys answered, “Green.”
4. Then John spoke to the aborigines and said, “What color are you?” “Black,” they said.
a. “No, you are green. All the boys who ride on this bus are green. Now, what color are you?” The aborigines answered, “Green.”
5. That seemed to bring an end to the bickering and fussing — for a while.
6. Several miles down the road, one of the boys said to the others, “All right, light green on this side of the bus, dark green on that side.” Then the fussing started all over again. (borrowed from David Sargent’s sermon “I Wish All People were Green” [(Kent Hughes in Peterman 1]).
B. Do you wish that all people were green?
1. Maybe then, we would realize that we were all created by God.
2. “What color of skin did Adam & Eve have?” some may ask.
3. Can we confidently answer: Adam and Eve were some shade of brown – like the rest of us!?
4. We all have different shades of brown as the color of our skin – some are really light brown, and others are really dark brown.
C. What made Adam and Eve God’s special creation was not the color of their skin; it was something far more significant - they were made in God’s image.
1. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen. 1:26-27)
3. All humans are descendants from that original couple and are all equally made in God’s image.
4. But in spite of the fact that all humans are equally made in God’s image, all humans have not been treated equally with regard to love and justice.
5. Sadly, that has not been a problem only here in the United States of America, it has been a problem throughout history in all parts of the world.
D. But we are not living in other times and places, we are here in the U.S.A. in June of 2020, and the battle for justice continues and has come to the forefront of our consciousness yet again.
1. I have been on vacation for the last two weeks, and during that time in the wake of the wrongful death of George Floyd in the custody of 4 Minneapolis police officers, there have been nationwide and worldwide protests.
2. Internationally, protesters in over 60 countries have rallied opposition to worldwide racism and police brutality, and expressed solidarity with their counterparts in the United States.
E. For two weeks, this sermon has been marinating inside of me, and today I feel compelled to try to bring some important truth from God and His word to our church family about the racial divide and social injustices occurring in our nation.
1. I devoted a sermon to this subject on the day before Martin Luther King Day two years ago.
2. In that lesson, I tried to help us understand how we all have hidden biases, and how we have to work to try to see things from other people’s perspectives.
3. In that sermon, I humbly asked for forgiveness if I offend anyone with my insensitivities or misunderstandings.
F. Today, I also, ask for your forgiveness in advance, because I may not say things just right.
1. Please don’t jump to conclusions. Please give me the benefit of the doubt.
2. Please know that my intention is to help us all grow and reflect the mind and heart of God.
3. Please know that I am speaking about moral and ethical issues, and I don’t want to be seen as being political at all, because this is not about politics it is about rightousness.
G. I admit to you that I don’t know it all. I don’t have all the answers.
1. The issues facing our nation and its people are complicated, and there are no simple fixes.