This Friday September 6, 2013 is the Fishbowl: Tough Questions on Ethnic Relationships. The Fishbowl is an opportunity to assemble diverse people from diverse backgrounds to discuss a tough topic. This week men and women from the city of Conway and even Little Rock will be joining together at the McGee Center to discuss ethnic relationships. In preparation for the upcoming Fishbowl I would ask for you to consider a few thoughts of mine.
1. A very large lens. I want to be clear now and I will be clear this Friday night that I am looking at the Fishbowl through the lens of the reconciling message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus incarnation revealed to the world what it means to be fully human in a world of ethnic divisions. The Good News is God frees men and women from oppressing and reviling persons based on an ethnic difference. Men and women of various ethnic groups are freed to celebrate their God given distinctions under the banner of new humanity in Jesus Christ. Therefore, you will hear very explicit and implicit references to a new humanity in Jesus Christ that loves despite of differences. A new humanity that rejoices in their distinctions because they realize those temporary ethnic distinctions will not define who and what they become.
2. A career for humanity. Martin L. King Jr. once said that we should have a career or a vocation for humanity. Imagine what it would look like if we used our collective vocations to serve one another and not profit off of one another. Since I have been in Conway that is what my life has become. I am not just a pastor, nonprofit leader or doctoral student. I want to use all these vocations for one vocation; to improve the lives of the men and women in our city. There will be all types of vocations present at the Fishbowl. I would ask you in advance, “How can you use your vocation to serve the different human ethnic groups represented in the city?”
3. Racism and Prejudice exist. This may sound like I am contradicting my first statement, but I realize that racism and prejudice is part of our human experience. Every opportunity to engage darkness of bigotry and hate with love is an opportunity to relieve a trapped soul into the light of day. Therefore, maybe this Friday night someone will know forgiveness and release bitterness. Someone may experience seeing life and a human with new eyes and not stumble through life because of their ethnic blindness.
So, there are some thoughts for you to reflect on. May God bless you and I look forward to meeting you on Friday night.