Connecting with Culture
It’s been said that culture is ‘what we make of the world’, but what does that look like as Christians? How can we begin conversations about what’s goin...
The theme of this year’s Black History Month (BHM), which comes to an end next Tuesday, is ‘Saluting our Sisters’.
As a Black African woman, I love the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of other Black women who might otherwise have been overlooked. As Chine McDonald reminds us with the title of her book, God is not a white man. Instead, in the opening pages of Scripture, God says, ‘Let us make humanity in our image’ (Genesis 1:26).
At the other end of the Bible, Revelation 7:9 paints a picture of the world as it will be one day – as it was always intended to be: ‘a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne.’ This dizzyingly diverse multitude beautifully reflects the vibrant, multifaceted image of our triune God – an image that can’t be reflected whilst some groups are neglected.
Let us be captivated by this vision of a better world where everyone is different, united, and equal before God – the body of Christ epitomising this notion of a united diversity.
However, positive as BHM is intended to be, I have to acknowledge that it’s still a divisive and emotionally charged topic. Racism in the UK is wrapped up in the legacy of the British Empire and, in one way or another, we’re all touched by it. But where racism is a man-made concept, ethnic and cultural diversity are beautiful, godly things. Racial diversity isn’t just an HR workplace agenda to check off, but points to God’s kingdom in the here and now.
Research shows that a typical Christian today is a non-white woman living in the Global South – without societal safety or proper health care. This represents a vastly different typical Christian to 100 years ago, who was likely a white, affluent European. We salute you, our sisters in Christ.
This begs the question: whose contributions are overlooked on your frontline? Who are the people of global majority heritage that you can celebrate, whose stories have been forgotten? You can use your voice, position, and influence to highlight and promote those people who would otherwise be missed.
There’s a Zulu word, ubuntu, which can be translated as, ‘I am, because we are.’ As opposed to seeing other people as competitors or threats, together we can rise, saluting our sisters and living out the spirit of ubuntu – which echoes the reality of the kingdom – well beyond October.
Ennette is based in Nottingham. She has her own Christian yoga and wellbeing business, @imagodeiwellbeing, and has the joy of recently joining the staff team at LICC as our Emerging Generations Champion.