Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sharing Our Stories: Solidarity

God's Heart for Solidarity
A guest post by Sherrinda Ketchersid

I’ve been looking into the word "solidarity" lately.

According to Oxford Languages, the definition of solidarity is: unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.

We’ve seen on the news people protesting by bending on one knee (instead of two) during the national anthem at football games. We’ve seen people wearing certain colors to show support for a cause. Recently, American shot putter Raven Saunders put her arms in an X shape while on the Olympic medal podium to show her solidarity with those who are oppressed. These actions make you stop and look, don’t they? They point a finger to what is wrong in the world. They make you sit up and take notice.

I decided to see what the Bible has to say about solidarity. 

Here are a few of the many verses I found in my search:
  •  “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” – 1 Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)
  • “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” – 1 Peter 3:8 (ESV)
  •  “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” – Romans 14:19 (ESV)
These verses speak of peace-making and building unity with others. When others hurt, we hurt with them. When others are oppressed, we stand up with them and for them. We must pursue what builds others up and brings peace. Pursue! That is an active word, right? There is something to do when we take up solidarity with others.

I watched a YouTube video of an interview with Larycia Hawkins, who became the first female African-American tenured professor at Wheaton College in 2013. She was placed on administrative leave after she posted a photo of herself wearing a Hajib on her personal Facebook page. She did this to show solidarity with women Muslims who were up against rising ethnic tensions at the time. 

Something she said at the end of the interview struck me as something I need to address. She said, “All of life is sacred. I think you all think that you think that, but I don’t think you do because you send your kids to private schools so they don’t have to go to school with the poor black and brown kids. I would challenge you to rethink all of your commitments through the lens of every child is your child.”

I am reading and learning more and more about what it means to be antiracist, but have I really looked at my life—my decision and commitments—through the lens of true solidarity?

Sometimes, changing your lifestyle to reflect solidarity is hard. Sometimes it causes us to sacrifice. But isn’t that what Jesus teaches? He came to serve, not to be served. Take up your cross and follow Him. I’m not saying we must all move into neighborhoods different from ours or pull our kids out of private school. But I do think we need to reexamine our lives through the lens of solidarity. We need to take a look at everything through the lens of peace and unity with others—especially those who are different than us.

Let’s Pray: Father God, help me to see with Your eyes. Open my heart to the needs of those around me who are struggling under oppression, discrimination, and hate. I need to see the world through the lens of Your heart. Help me to bring unity and peace to those around me. Help me to be a person of solidarity in this world. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Sherrinda Ketchersid is an author of historical romance and a minister’s wife who loves to paint in her Bible. 

She loves to read, spend time in her flower garden, and try her hand at new crafts. She likes to blog and is part of a group called The Writers Alley.

Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her husband of 35 years. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love.

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