“For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household…” — Ephesians 2:18-19
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The NFL hit a big milestone in racial equality this year: For the first time, both teams playing in the Super Bowl had a Black starting quarterback — the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts. In a nation plagued by racial injustice, Americans can celebrate these milestones and appreciate how far we have come from a past of slavery and Jim Crow laws.
Sports have been one of the top platforms for racial equality and justice in our country. We can look back on Jackie Robinson as the first Black professional baseball player, the integration of the University of North Carolina basketball team under coach Dean Smith, and we see that today 58% of all NFL players are Black or African American.
Athletics has helped our country make progress toward unity, but it creates divisions in other ways. We see opponents fighting and fans cussing each other out.
The ultimate unity our world longs for can only come from Jesus Christ. We read in Ephesians how Jesus has “destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility… For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household…” (Ephesians 2:14, 18-19).
Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, He has opened the way for all people, no matter the ethnicity, to come freely to God and be welcomed into His family. The people of God are unified in the most significant way possible. The love of God in Christ brings people together from any background because they share citizenship in God’s Kingdom.
Unity in sports has helped the United States make great strides toward racial equality, but Jesus has brought us a true and lasting unity. His death and resurrection allows for people from every tribe, tongue and nation to come together in God’s Kingdom.
— John Radcliffe
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