Seventeen years ago I linked Martin Luther King Day with Sanctity of Life Sunday for the first time. Since then I have tried to preach a pair of sermons back to back in January — one for the glory of Christ in racial harmony, and one for the glory of Christ in a sacred womb.
This has the unsettling effect of making me sound like a Democrat one week and a Republican the next. Which is just the way I want it, because I am neither.
In that first sermon I said:
The next time someone asks you, “Why are you against abortion?” try answering, “Because no amount of inconvenience could ever justify treating the supreme creation of God with murderous contempt.”
And if someone asks you, “Why are you willing to stay in a racially changing neighborhood when the value of your house is plummeting?” try answering, “Because no amount of real estate value could ever justify treating the supreme creation of God with contempt.”
And then read them Psalm 8 and show them a vision of God and of what it means to be human. That may lift them higher in their thoughts than they have ever gone before.
Jesus Covers and Conquers
Every year insights have increased. Racial justice and justice for the unborn are spiritually and morally intertwined in countless ways. Both of them are blood issues — in more ways than one.
Jesus shed his blood to cover and conquer the corruptions that kill babies and debase races. He shed his blood to reconcile Hutu and Tutsi, and mother and fetus.
He created a bloodline by the cross that is stronger than any tribal or racial line, and stronger than any mother-child line. Paradoxically, by de-absolutizing the bonds of race and family, Jesus is able to create and purify bonds within and across those lines stronger than the most absolute human commitments.
Perhaps I will write a book on abortion someday. But the first fruit of these seventeen years of pondering (and 65 years of living) is a book on Race, Cross, and the Christian which is the subtitle for Bloodlines.
Bloodlines in the Local Church
I would like to invite you be a part of an event — either in person or by live-stream — as I talk about the book and my experience behind it with a gathering of urban pastors on November 3, at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis.
Learn more about this event from our partner, Here’s Life Inner City, and register if you can make it in person.