It takes an enormous amount of courage to go against the crowd. And one of the most inspiring examples in recent days is that of NBA Basketball player, Jonathan Isaac.
Instead of taking a knee and wearing a Black Lives Matter™ T-shirt, Isaac stood and prayed silently during the American national anthem. Later in a press interview, Isaac gave the following explanation:
CBS Sports has provided a full transcript of what Isaacs said:
“I believe that Black Lives Matter. A lot went into my decision, and part of it is, I thought that kneeling or wearing the Black Lives Matter t-shirt doesn’t go hand-in-hand with supporting Black lives. So, I felt like, just me personally, what is that I believe is taking on a stance that, I do believe that Black lives matter, but I just felt like it was a decision that I had to make, and I didn’t feel like putting that shirt on and kneeling went hand in hand with supporting Black lives. I believe that for myself, my life has been supported by gospel, Jesus Christ, and everyone is made in the image of God and that we all forge through God’s glory.
“Each and every one of us do things that we shouldn’t do and say things that we shouldn’t say. We hate and dislike things that we shouldn’t hate and dislike, and sometimes it gets to a point where we point fingers, whose evil is worse, and sometimes it comes down to whose evil is most visible. So, I felt like I wanted to take a stand on, we all make mistakes, but I think that the gospel of Jesus Christ is that there’s grace for us, and that Jesus came and died for our sins and that if we all come to an understanding of that and that God wants to have a relationship with us, that we can get kept all of the things in our world that our messed up, jacked up.
“I think when you look around, racism isn’t the only thing that plagues our society, that plagues our nation, that plagues our world, and I think coming together on that message that we want to get past not only racism but everything that plagues as us as a society, I feel like the answer to that is gospel.”
This is what provides true reconciliation. Not vacuous political gestures, but the acknowledgement that we are all the problem. That each of us has both rebelled ‘vertically’ against our maker as well as ‘horizontally’ against our neighbour.
But following on from that though, the solution to these two things is the cross of Jesus Christ. As the apostle Paul says in Ephesians 2:13-14:
“…now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”