By Deacon Mary Delancey
God has a heart for justice. I know because it is written in His scripture. Here are only a few of the places we find God speaking of justice. The Book of Deuteronomy (16:19a) includes the law, “You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality.” The prophet Micah (6:8) speaks God’s words when he says “(God) has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” And Jesus summarizes God’s heart for justice as this: “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”
Why am I talking about justice in this discussion of racism? Because out of racism comes injustice. When we place ourselves above someone, anyone, we are setting ourselves up to treat them unjustly. That is what racism is – to believe that we are better than someone because of a racial distinction that God does not make is, very simply, a sin. Again, God’s Word tells us that “God shows no partiality….” (Acts 10:34). Partiality is injustice and is enacted both blatantly and subtly.
Nothing will change until we confront the sin of racism directly. The Bridges Project (marionbridges.net) is a group of people who have joined together to confront racism in our community, break through barriers among racial and social groups and build pathways to understanding. If you are looking for a way to actively address racism in Ocala/Marion County, check out their website and Facebook page. Whether you join this or another group, we all need to speak up when we see it and hear it. We need to listen to the experiences of those who are affected by racism. God is doing the work of justice in this world. We can either join him in that work or we can turn away.
Photo Taken By: Dave Miller (Ocala, FL)