Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations”, Atlantic Monthly , June 2014
To accompany the resources listed above, we wanted to offer a list of suggestions for living cross-culturally and justly. One of our goals as we follow Jesus is to integrate “what we know” into “what we practice.” Following Jesus involves learning and living. We hope that all of these things are evident in who we are and what we do here at The Bridge. Our current cultural climate did not create the need for us to live cross-culturally and justly, for that need has always been there! Rather, our current cultural moment exposes our need to repent, mature, and grow up into God’s vision for his people.
Our prayer since day one at The Bridge is for us to pray and live how Jesus taught us to pray, that “his kingdom come, and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is a bold prayer, but we long for The Bridge to be and to offer a taste of what heaven is all about: different types of people coming together united in love for Christ, perfect justice and righteousness under the reign of our true king.
We have been living through extra-ordinary times: a global pandemic, uprisings, and incredible polarization. But the call upon our lives is always this: live like God’s extraordinary Kingdom has and is coming into our ordinary world and pray like you believe that. We hope that this list will aid you in this journey.
Create a Parental Plan for Discipling Your Children Holistically (if applicable). Formulate a plan to teach the children of our community about race, culture, injustice, economics, history, and the church.
Practice Seeing. Who lives on your block, in your neighborhood, etc.? What are the gifts of your place? What are the needs of your place? Practice seeing and meeting needs, yes, but also practice recognizing the gifts of other people and giving thanks to God. Go on a neighborhood walk by yourself or with your household. Practice seeing the gifts and the needs of your place. This commitment to neighboring is simple, but it is transformative and is at the heart of following Jesus. We live in a society—in in a city—that has both outlandish abundance and cruel poverty. We are called to “repairers of the breach,”(Is. 58:12) so look for that “breach” and fill it. Challenge yourself and your household to live more radical lives of hospitality.
Connect With Local, Community-Based Organizations that are helping promote justice, mercy, and human flourishing in our city. We have partner organizations that we work with as a congregation, but there are many doing this work in our city. Some of this will depend on your own commitments and philosophy. One important principle is to work in regular rhythms (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) of serving with these organizations.
Do Justice With Your Budget. If budgets are “moral documents” (a phrase attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), then what does your personal or household budget say about what you value? Allocate your budget and watch your heart follow, for Jesus taught us “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). Challenge yourself to give more and more away as the years go on. What can we live without so that others may simply live?
Vote With Intentionality. Think about how you utilize your civic responsibility of voting. As you examine the local and national candidates that you vote for, what do these candidates and their policies say about what you value and want to see in our city?
Assess Your Unique Resources and Gifts. Take stock of who you are and the gifts that could be especially useful to your neighbors.
Pray Without Ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). Again, the call upon our lives is always this: live like God’s extraordinary Kingdom has and is coming into our ordinary world and pray like you believe that. What would our neighborhoods look like if all your prayers were granted? How would your life be different?
Let Us Know What You See. What do you see as opportunities for neighbor love for our congregation to engage in? Share those opportunities with us and with the rest of the church.
This page was adapted with permission from Grace DC