"As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then he and his disciples went to another village."
Luke 9:51-56 (NIV)
We, as a Christian community, have done wrong over the years to many people. Like James and John, we may, at times, think those who oppose or rejects our Lord are less than human and deserve destruction. But those with ears open by the Holy Spirit will hear Jesus rebuke this thinking.
Our membership in God's Kingdom is based upon our baptism and our personal confession of faith. That's it.
Loving your neighbor as yourself is key to Jesus' teachings, and His death and resurrection allows us the grace to do this. As a member of the Kingdom of God, Jesus' resurrection rebukes any prejudices still maintained against anyone.
This is the reason that the work that we do at Lutheran Indian Ministries is so important.
Our mission to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, disciple Native people and train them to make disciples, and provide a bridge to healing the effects and impacts of 500 years of failed evangelism has never been more relevant or critical.
Native people need to know that every day is a day of thanks and praise because they are uniquely made by a loving Creator who sent his Son to die for them because sin knows no race, color, creed, or culture. All are guilty. And they need to know that this same Creator has prepared a place for them in Heaven on the day of restoration when those who are His children will be called to Him.
We must be bold and relentless in delivering this message.
As His disciples, we have been called to sing praises to the Lord and make his name known to everyone. Including and especially Native American peoples.
Loving Father, erase from me any prejudice. Help me to see all of your children as equal in the light of Christ. In Jesus' name, Amen.