Sundays with CWM (26 March): Cross, a response to race and class

by CWM Communications Team

To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
But if Christ is in you, then the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. (Romans 8:6-11)

I grew up on the outskirts of a city in Guyana. It is a small village of many ethnic races, people of different religious upbringings and even a distinct sense of social classes and identities. During my early school years, I would play with all my classmates, sharing food and other elements of good school life. Well, of course, there’s always the exception of that ‘one smart kid’ whose fundamentals are too rubric for play or engagement, but other than that, I had fun. Regardless of skin colour, money in my pocket, or awkward stuttering, I engaged well with others and thought less of any of these barriers.

Later in the years to follow, the brightly burning candle of engagement gradually became dim as the differences of race, class, and religion became glaring to my conscience due to the growing awareness. I found myself being in trouble most of the time. As to my village upbringing, I would have to structurally disassociate with groups and classes of people when I would be in uniform and neatly presented to the educational forums. It was the requirement to fit in. Absurdly hypocritical, the ones I was forced to hate were the ones who became my partners out in the fields when the afternoon came. When the shirt was no longer tucked into the pants, or when I had to be neat and organised to hate.

Well, isn’t it what we fight for? High offices, suits, and ties? And firm structures?

A valid response from the Rastafarian community would be to say, “Fire pon that!” as the question of transformation comes into play. The idea of a transformation that seeks to transcend the norms of world disorders. Transformation is not being afraid to take the other step in the act of solidarity with minorities across the borders of separation.

On this day, we are reminded of God’s justice through the death on the cross and resurrection. As an example of transgression, the challenge comes to go beyond the common ground regardless of the outcome of the courageous vocation to which we are called.

-Christopher Latchman, Guyana Presbyterian Church

God of life, we give praises and thanks for the call to reform. We earnestly seek the courageous spirit of Christ for a just and free society. One in which we all can live in love and unity. We ask for mercies when we ignore the cries of the oppressed. Together, we pray for the desire to engage with the kingdom of God here on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen!


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