The Gracist seeks opportunities to rejoice with others, seeking to be inclusive of all people in the celebration. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about the twin needs to both suffer with those who suffer and rejoice with all who celebrate.
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (NIV 1 Cor 12:26)
This sounds like the easiest prescription of all in David Anderson’s fine book Gracism. Celebrate with those who celebrate hardly seems like it needs to be said but David reminds us of our tendencies; we celebrate with those who are like us but we have a buried envy of those unlike us who find success or celebrate their unique ethnicity, heritage, race, etc. Rejoicing with others seems to be easier than suffering with them, but our jealousy of their success, our envy at how they have overcome barriers, and worse often make celebration harder than we think. The circumstances are familiar:
- someone in the body is having a baby, even though I am barren
- someone in the body gets a new care and I’m still walking
- someone in the body is getting married and I’m still single
Perhaps the best example that Pastor Anderson offers as an example of our struggle is Black History Month. Do we as the Body celebrate the achievements and struggles of our black brothers and sisters? Making a token mention of the event or inviting a black brother to speak in our pulpits or any other singular activity is not an adequate effort in unifying the Body. The eye cannot simply acknowledge the big toe, it must be consistently cognizant of the balancing contribution made by the toe and the struggles that it faces that they eye never sees. All races, ethnicities, and socio-economic divisions must seek inclusivity in all of their actions of ALL of the Body, regardless of how our corrupted selves feel about the efforts.