Categories: Culture

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: A Devotional To Help You Discuss Race, Racism, and the Bible

In the course of planning the New Year and making New Year’s resolutions, did you give any thought to the types of conversations you want to see in your church or Bible study group this year? One of the most important conversations you can start (or re-start) in 2017 is about race and ethnicity in the church. And our new devotional can help you do that.

Next Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—an American holiday that commemorates the life and work of the famous civil rights activist. The holiday is always a good opportunity to pause and consider the dangers and challenges of racism in our society, but in 2017 it arrives after a particularly grueling year of American politics in which race and racism were regular topics of (often contentious) discussion.

Most of that discussion has, appropriately, focused on racism in American society: is prejudice and discrimination still a force in American culture? To what extent do our laws help or hinder the quest for a just society? Those are important questions, but Christians can add a spiritual dimension to them: is racism a problem in the Christian church today? How does our faith in God and the Bible inform our understanding of these issues? Does the way we discuss theology, organize our worship, and communicate our faith bring us closer to or farther from racial unity?

These are important, if often somewhat uncomfortable, questions for Christians to be asking. And hopefully, our churches make a point of considering these questions throughout the year. But regardless, this month presents a particularly good time to talk through these issues in the context of Christianity. To help kickstart that conversation, we recently launched a short devotional series focused on understanding the Bible’s approach to race and ethnicity. It’s called Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: A Devotion About Race and Ethnicity. You can sign up for it by clicking here.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: A Devotion About Race and Ethnicity takes two weeks to walk you through a series of Bible readings (from the Old and New Testaments) that speak to the challenge of confronting prejudice. From the call of Abraham to the Samaritan woman at the well, you’ll find out how the God of Israel has shown himself to be the God of all tribes and nations.

It’s a great devotional to read yourself, but it works even better when you discuss it with your friends, Bible study group, or family! Now’s a great time to delve into this topic, with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day around the corner and Black History Month arriving in February. Click here to sign up, and gather a group of friends to experience and discuss it with you!

Andy Rau: Andy is the former senior manager of content for Bible Gateway. He currently works at Calvin College.