“For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility…reconciling us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end.”
The former Black Panther radical, Eldridge Cleaver, traveled the world for a number of years from one communist country to another. During these travels his eyes were opened. Racism, cruelty, oppression and corruption were at least as prevalent, if not more so, in these countries. He began to realize that calling racism a black-white issue was to miss the point. He began to grasp the comprehensive nature of the human dilemma. This was the painful but inescapable truth that Eldridge Cleaver came to see as he traveled the world: racism and injustice are equal opportunity employers.
Enforcing quotas and legislation designed to combat injustice will never result in people openly and freely loving one another. These measures are damage control, at best. What people need is a power that can actually reconcile, actually bring them together; a power that can erase the past, free the present and open the future.
A painting by a well-known black artist came up for sale at a Manhattan art gallery. The technique was masterful, the colors vivid and alive. But it was the subject that left some viewers touched, others dismayed. The painting was of two men, one black, one white. They were kneeling, their left hands clasped, their right arms extended, touching the base of the cross, their eyes looking up at the crucified Jesus. The painting was entitled, ‘Reconciled’.
Our reconciliation with one another must begin at the cross because the One whom we have wronged, above anyone else, is God Himself. When those forces that separate us are met by a greater power, a new life emerges. The forgiveness that is in Jesus Christ is that power.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”