• Martin Kirkbride

Thought For Today: All Lives Matter

The recent, and continued demonstrations by ‘Black Lives Matter’, have a valid cause. Even if that cause has been hijacked by vandals and those who choose to disregard law, order, and social distancing.

But where would Jesus fit into all this?Dark-skinned images of Jesus have been known from the earliest times. Despite the common depictions in Western cultures of Jesus as a blond, blue-eyed hippy looking man, reasonable evidence points to the fact that Jesus could not have been of stereotypical Scandinavian extraction.

Throughout the 20th century, black theologians argued that showing Jesus as a white-skinned European is not only historically inaccurate, but profoundly alienating for non-Europeans. History is on the side of a dark-skinned Jesus. Some of the oldest images of Christ show him with the dark, olive-coloured skin of Mediterranean people. Ethiopian images – one of the oldest branches of the Christian church – show Jesus as a black person.The quintessential English Christ has a light skin, wavy brown hair, and sometimes – wonder of wonders – blue eyes. For many white to Christians to find him depicted as black is as disconcerting as it was for the Pharisees to find him partying with tax-collectors. *I can still recall how shocked some of our friends were the year we sent out Christmas cards that featured a brown baby in the manger.

The message of Christ, is that all lives matter, lives of every colour, creed, and language. The Apostle Paul sums this up in Galatians 3:28, ‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’.

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