Written by Ron Buford
"We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul." - Hebrews 6:13-20
Among close African-American colleagues who know the risks of racism and cultural misunderstanding that can so easily and unconsciously emerge, one might say to another, "I've got your back." This is to say, I will look out for you and keep you smart, especially about ways people from the majority culture around you react to your manner, presence, and impact. It also communicates that if you need help, I will be there for you. Such promises are still a necessary comfort in American society where we "swim in racism." Even the best-intentioned among us cannot escape it--on either side.
In this text, God, the creator, the prime mover of all that is, says, "I've got your back." This text reminds us of the assurance of God's promise to "Bless us with everything God has." Wow! But wait, there's more! Jesus is described as our advocate with God. Having lived as a human, Jesus interprets our imperfect cultural context to God. When we pray and even before we pray, God takes time to know us, intimately. Should we not do the same for others? So, in everything you do and say today, remember, God says: "I've got your back. Go and do likewise." Thanks be to God!
Ron Buford is the Pastor of the Congregational Community Church of Sunnyvale, UCC, Sunnyvale, California.