It in indeed turning out to be an interesting election season. Whatever you think of Barak Obama and his troubles with his pastor Jeremiah Wright, they have at least opened a dialogue that has needed to be opened. Today in USA Today Online there is an article entitled, Americans Using Religion to Navigate Racial Landscape. The article is about different churches and their struggles with race issues.
The issue of race drew sharp focus as Barack Obama’s contentious split with his longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, played out in a national glare. In response, the United Church of Christ and National Council of Churches USA called on 10,000 ministers to initiate a ‘sacred conversation on race….’ The conversation, which grew loud and rancorous around the Wright episode, started long before and continues afterward, but in softer tones that show the faithful want to be constructive, want to make progress, want their voices heard.
The article goes on to speak fairly positively about the relationship of churches and race and their current state. It really is a good article.
It did get me thinking that I don’t know that I have EVER preached a sermon on race. Perhaps I have, but I cannot recall one.
I know that as I was outlining possible sermons on Acts, I made some note about the effect of one black man from the story of the Ethiopian eunuch. I presume that he was a black man. But Philip went and preached to him and tradition states that he had a profound effect on founding and spreading the gospel in east Africa.
I find it interesting that it is easier to preach on the Bible and environmentalism than it is on race. I don’t know that I will/should preach “a sacred conversation on race,” during this election season, but it surely is something I need to give more attention to. If for no other reason than to get the church talking about race again, the candidacy of Obama and his fight with his preacher have been worth it.