One of our takeaways from today’s anti-racism training is that racism makes invisible the humanity of those who have been marginalized by systems created to dismiss the validity of their existence.
As human beings in relationship with one another we, for the most part, first long to be seen.
What does it mean to be seen and what does this table have to do or say about what it means to be seen?
While [Jesus] was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Structural and systemic racism attempts to make invisible anyone in society whose skin color is black, brown, or in other words, something other than white.
As the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we make the statement each time we offer communion that everyone is welcome. When we make that statement, the deeper message we are expressing is that we/I see you.
Do we really mean what we say?
Throughout scripture, our Savior presents himself as someone who saw everyone regardless of their station in society or cultural and ethnic backgrounds. This table then is a humble celebration of the fact that Jesus saw and continues to see each and every one of us.
This invitation to the table was written by the Rev. Darryl Searuggs, an ordained Disciples of Christ pastor, and leader of the Central Rocky Mountain Region’s Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Team.