Clowns to the left of me! Jokers to the right! Here I am stuck in the middle with you.

A song recently sang by Michael Buble  and a remake of a 1972 hit song by the folk rock band Stealers Wheel by makes one think of the peace located somewhere in the middle. In the case of ethnic/racial relations, in the “somewhere in the middle” place there is a peaceable realm. In this case It must be paramount for people to stay away from racial polarization and therefore the marginalization that result. This practice and this principal tears at the very fabric of peace.

“and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” Eph6:15 English Standard Version (©2001)

When we put on shoes of readiness, it is for the purpose of going somewhere.

Standing on the periphery will do nothing to bring about this reconciliation that we have been called to. “Clowns to the left of me! Jokers to the right”, exemplifies those who would rather stay stagnant on their side of the cultural divide. The gospel of peace can only be achieved by those who will challenge themselves to step out on to the Bridge of this racial reconciliation to the other side.

It is those peripheral voices which say that multi ethnic unity can never take place. Also included are those who are too in love with the societal as well as the personal world view of their particular ethnic group, to ever want to leave the extreme of division for the middle ground of unity. 2nd Corinthians 5:18 says that “He (Jesus) Himself is our peace. We are “stuck in the middle with you.” as followers of Christ, All of us have been called to embrace peace. That peace is the very expression of Jesus.

Someone may say “why use words such as Clowns and Jokers?” This can be explained by simply stating that hypocrisy is at the root of those who plant their stakes into the cold, lifeless soil of the extreme and yet try to show the world that they are people of love. In essence, if one cannot leave their comfort zone to embrace someone from a different ethnic group, then how do we ever solve problems that we regardless all face together?

In other words, it was people that the bible refers to as the “mixed multitudethat were identified as following the children of Israel in the Old Testament and Christ himself in the New. The true dialog takes place at the middle point and therefore abolishing the wall of partition. The walls that divide us are potential amalgamation points to become coalesced into the mixed multitude that all are called to become.

The mixed multitude had no other affiliation to the core group except to embrace the strength of the message that was communicated. In the Exodus from Egypt the message was, moving from bondage and oppression to the freedom of the promise land. In the New Testament the message was, moving from the bondage and oppression of the alienation from God and man to the promise of the Kingdom of God through reconciliation to both.

This Kingdom was the aforementioned peaceable realm/kingdom. This is a kingdom of peace. Peace is achieved when all hostilities have ceased. To secure a peace, the warring factions must all come to the table leaving no other alternative to peace on that table i.e. ‘stuck in the middle with you”. With the intention of  “Building the Bridge Together” in face to face dialog; real and lasting peace can be achieved.

To achieve peace, the parties will agree that all weapons must be put away.

The weapons of stereo typing, sweeping generalizations, fear etc. must be put away. The invisible knapsack of the clandestine great protector called White skin privilege must be put away. And the preemptive as well as retaliatory weapon of the “race card” must be placed back under the bottom of the deck.

The word of God says that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”

The Message translation of this scripture says it this way:

“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-6(MSG)

 Kevin K. Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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