No, the COVID-19 virus is not some kind of divinely unleashed pestilence to punish us. But what seems clear is this: It is not the disease itself that has revealed our sin, it is the ways we have responded that have condemned us to our current misery and suffering.
Whatever else, Lent is the church’s reminder that we are ever improvising, seizing the half-baked idea or the unexpected moment of irony, tragedy or failure as an occasion for grace.
White Christians in America must see racism for what it is: sin. Seeing our sin and our complicity is the first step to repentance. We must see this because it’s literally killing our neighbors of color, all created in the image of God.
In confronting white nationalist terror and the Washington-based bigotry that has invited it into the mainstream, we must be both fierce in our struggle but also prayerful in our devotion. We must call this nation to repent for its sins and call it too to save itself from this “corrupt generation.”
An appeal to my white Baptist sisters and brothers: when it comes to talk about the issue of reparations, I hope you will embrace and maintain a penitent silence during the remaining days of Lent.
The Bible says that we have this treasure in earthen vessels, but moments of moral reckoning, such as the one we are enduring now, remind us just how fragile earthen vessels really are.
“Our sins have “found us out.” Wrongs swept under the ecclesiastical carpet or committed inside the church’s dark corners have gone public, requiring us to move beyond casual piety to encounter the pain, depth and gift of repentance.
We live and worship in religious systems that function like a moving walkway of institutional sexism. Most of us nonsexist people are still benefitting from a sexist culture moving us through sexist systems.
On Tuesday night, I’ll watch election returns to see whether white people who call themselves evangelical followers of Jesus will, again, prove that they prize white supremacy above the inclusive and liberating gospel of divine grace, truth, justice and peace.