Last Friday was our last session of this study on Anti-Racism and Galatians. This week, we read Galatians 5-6. In these chapters, St. Paul talks about new creation, and we reflected on how new communities would reflect the unconditioned gift of God in Christ.
Reflecting on our own lives, we found that our society is very similar to the Galatians. Honour is not given freely and unconditionally to those who are marginalized. Instead, they have to earn honour while those who have privilege are simply given honour. In this context there is a stratification between those whose honour is not under great threat or competition, and those who face daily and recurring threats to their honour. In a context like that, it is so difficult to build community.
The communities that we should strive to create should be built on love. When we become free from the previous standards of honour, we can then give honour to one another rooted in love. These communities would be formed without regard to one’s worth, and without heed to pre-existent norms of acceptability. This kind of community would be evidence of faith and a life in Christ.
A challenging question that came up was this: Can we build this kind of community with those who are very different from us? The ESM members at the Bible study shared and reflected on our own community of St. Tim’s. We wondered how we could open up our community to others. Many shared their thoughts on how we could reach out to those beyond the Korean community as well as their reflections on the biases and barriers that have discouraged others from truly joining our church. We hope that we can use the strong foundation that we already have but also reach out to others who are of other ethnicities. Creating personal relationships with those who are different than us will lead us to become more like the Beloved Community MLK envisioned.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this study! It was a very fruitful and insightful four weeks due to your commitment and openness to sharing.