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Racism has reared its ugly head in the last few weeks. I was recently in Atlanta, and when people found out I was from Virginia, they wanted to talk about the events in Charlottesville.
The sin of racism is hanging over our heads.
These are conversations that we need to be having. In airports. At conferences. In Ubers.
Especially in the church.
Franklin McCallie grew up in the segregated South. He was taught that as a white person, he was better than any black person. Now, in his 70’s, McCallie shares how he was able to shed racism.
- What did you experience while listening to Franklin McCallie’s story?
- Are there any similar elements to your story?
- Why do you think Franklin was afraid to sit next to the black woman on the bus?
- Franklin’s turning point came in college when he met John. From watching the video, how would you describe this encounter?
- John asks Franklin if he knew anyone who fought in World War II. It turns out that both John and Franklin had uncles that served. What does this tell us about listening to each other?
- How did you feel when you heard Franklin recall John telling him that he and others had to take a bus two miles from town to eat or go to the bathroom?
- Read Luke 10:25-37. What connections do you see between Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan and Franklin McCallie’s story?
- How do recent events affect how you read the Parable of the Good Samaritan?
- At the end of the clip, you see people of both races gathered for a meal. Franklin now hosts these dinners in his home to bring people together. How is this a fulfillment of Jesus’ “Go and do likewise” from this parable?
In Jesus’ day, Jews and Samaritans did not get along. Descendants of a mixed population, the Samaritans were segregated from the Jews. The two groups differed in their view of rebuilding the temple and Jerusalem, which led to the Samaritans building their own place of worship.
Both groups worshiped God, just differently.
Most Jews traveling would go out of their way to go around Samaria. They avoided it all a cost. Which is why it is important that Jesus’ “good guy” in his story is the very person his people deemed the “bad guy.”
Fred Craddock explains:
“Ceremonially unclean, socially outcast, and religiously a heretic, the Samaritan is the very opposite of the lawyer as well as the priest and the Levite.” (Luke, 1990)
Jesus turns the social norm of the day upside down. The “other” becomes the unexpected hero of this story. Jesus calls those who listen to “go and do likewise.” Franklin McCallie, in opening his home to have intentional dialogue with those who are different from one another, has gone and done likewise.
Encourage your group to think of ways that they can follow the example of Franklin McCallie and bring people together.