Through the blood of Jesus Christ, there is one body of believers. This is an excellent picture of diversity and unity. Followers of Jesus do not lose their ethnic identity. Instead, there unique qualities become grafted into the church, and the church becomes stronger as a result. Paul’s image in 1 Corinthians 12 of a eye saying to the hand, “I don’t need you” is a frightening prospect for the ethnically segregated church in America. There are many churches that are blind for lack of eyes and lame for lack of legs.
For these reasons, my church observes Black History Month in February. It makes sense in a practical sort of way just because we have a number of Black members. However, the deeper reason for me personally to take the time and effort to prioritize the music, history, and culture of Blacks in America during February has more to do with the fact that even though I am White, I have become grafted into the body of Christ along with my Black brothers and sisters. Now their history has become my history. Their struggles and successes have become mine as well. Their songs and cultural expressions have become mine because I need them as an eye needs a hand. As the Apostle Paul put it, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”