Dr. Martin Luther King once lamented, “At 11:00 on Sunday morning when we stand and sing that Christ has no east or west, we stand at the most segregated hour in this nation.”
Sadly, in many places, his words still ring all too true.
I want to express my gratitude that at 11:00 last Sunday morning, this was not true at the church in my neighborhood.
If you’ve seen my “How Diverse Is Your Neighborhood?” post, you know that metro DC is generally very segregated. But my neck of the woods is one of the few areas that looks almost brown on the big map:
Not too bad for DC.
Of course, even in a pretty diverse neighborhood, churches can tend towards the monochromatic. The language spoken, the style of music, the preaching, the ministry leaders and emphases, the art, the way people dress… they can make some people feel more welcome than others.
As I looked around during the homily Sunday morning, though, I realized there’s something different going on here. In the pews immediately surrounding me, I saw eleven Asians, seven black people, twelve white people (I counted myself), and thirteen Latinos. Thank you, Jesus.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely not claiming we’re done “preach[ing] brotherhood and mak[ing] it a reality within [our] own body.” And Dr. King’s call to “really go out and to transform American society” remains. There’s a long road ahead.
But I thank God that 11:00 on Sunday morning when we stand and sing that Christ has no east or west, at least in this one church, we’re beginning to do it together.