“He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:7)
During this Advent season, we are reminded that Jesus is God under our skin. How unsettling. God with us blends in, resembles our next of kin. Jesus didn’t come to fit in with the empire.
Why then is there a certain sect of Christians who crave proximity to power and why is this repositioning not unsettling? We are supposed to be squeezing in to see this baby in a manger, and instead they are siding with Herod, who thinks he is the true king.
These self-proclaimed Christians are more concerned about recounting votes that have already been counted thrice in a presidential election rather than counting the number of African Americans who die both mysteriously and publicly while in police custody? Why don’t we go there and instead of shooting protesters like Kyle Rittenhouse did, sit with those who are targeted? Because that would require that persons stop blame-shifting and see their behavior as predatory.
Because Ahmaud Arbery was lynched while jogging. Because Breonna Taylor was shot to death while sleeping. Because George Floyd was choked to death with the world watching. All were presumed guilty and deserving of death because of the social coloring of their skin.
Minoritized and historically the most victimized sounds like a vulnerable group. Still, African Americans are viewed as threatening and even without a weapon, police officers claim that they feared for their lives. But let’s go where the facts of American history lead — without the gaslighting of fears over Critical Race Theory. Why don’t we gather around and tell the story of an America that massacred the indigenous community, fought to keep Africans and later African American human beings as property, and legalized the exclusion of Chinese and Mexican immigrants?
This was done while carefully curating a newly created White identity for Europeans to join and cultivate this idea of White Supremacy that continues to surveil racialized bodies. Perhaps this is the reason why some people don’t think that America is great, and with this feedback why others are still rigging elections to ensure that it stays that way.
Because it is all about the numbers. Not Jesus’s ten toes and ten fingers but robbing the oppressed of the feeling in their own. But baby Jesus reminds us that God is not numb.
Rev. Starlette Thomas is an associate editor and the director of The Raceless Gospel Initiative at Good Faith Media. Her podcast, The Raceless Gospel, is currently offering an Advent series, “Jesus is coming!”, on all streaming platforms.