In thinking about our ethnic identity development as multiethnic people, what does it mean to be “mixed”? What does it mean to move beyond “black and white” thinking about our heritage? How can we see our ethnic stories in full color?
Use the two reflections below (alone or in groups) to ask these questions and sit at the feet of our Brown, multiethnic, Middle Eastern/North African savior, listening to what he has to say about how we have been made for good.
“Being Mixed” - Reflection One
What does it mean to move beyond “black and white” thinking about our heritage? How can we see our ethnic stories in full color?
“Some of us might not know about our ancestors beyond a couple of generations. Some of us might have complex, painful, or shameful parts of how our families came into being (especially those that have the legacy of slavery, war, or rape in the family story). Jesus doesn’t ignore this but instead is set on redeeming those hurtful stories.”
Sarah Shin, Beyond Colorblind (IVP 2017, p. 30-31)
Bible Reading: John 9:1-41
- Where have we been taught that parts of ourselves should be hidden away, ignored, assimilated, etc.? Which parts, and by whom?
- Where is Jesus’ Mixed ethnicity helpful in understanding our own? Where does the analogy fall flat?
- What does it mean to have a “legacy of slavery, war, or rape in the family story”? Does it feel like there really is hope for redemption?
- What majority-culture, supposedly “right answers” are we telling ourselves and others—though these lies come to us because of conquest, colonization, and oppression?
- How can our struggles help inform our work in the world? What healing do we need to receive to let our Mixed status point to Jesus?
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Father of all nations
Holy Spirit who dwells in our bodies
Son who is fully God
and of Mixed heritage
we sit before you in awe.
In awe of your beauty
in awe of the scars, you still bear
in awe of how
the brutality of the oppressor
was met with
the gentleness of your incarnation
in true strength
and true love
Teach us to see with your eyes
to hear with your ears
to sit in the silence of our doubts
and the cries of our ancestors
to know your goodness
in not erasing our stories
but in giving them color
and a place in the Kingdom.
*Optional Reading: Beyond Colorblind pp. 29-33 (section “Embracing Our Ethnic Backgrounds”)
“Being Mixed” - Reflection Two
How can we be a blessing in our Mixed selves? What do we uniquely bring to the Kingdom because of who God has made us to be? What does real peace look like for us?
“So we embody slaves and masters, colonizers and indigenous people, vulnerable immigrants and privileged gatekeepers, all in the face of one person. We see the hostility of centuries every time we look in the mirror.”
Chandra Crane, Mixed Blessing (IVP 2020, p. 33)
Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-7 and Hebrews 4:14-16
- Do you feel like a blessing? Or just mixed up? Or (of course!) both?
- Which of the stories from the book (or other places) most strike a chord with you?
- How do you feel that your Mixed ethnicity has helped you to serve the Kingdom? How has it felt like a detriment to service?
- After the two reflections, how do you feel about your Mixed ethnicity? Is this different than how you felt at the beginning of Reflection One?
Our Prophet and the fulfillment of prophecy
Our Priest and the ultimate sacrifice
Our King who dwells among us
We marvel at your identity.
As Brown, Mixed, Jewish, Canaanite, Moabite, Hittite
As Middle Eastern and North African
As God and Human
As high above all and yet present with your people
As the bridge on whose back the stripes were laid
and the Kingdom is being built
We marvel at your sacrifice.
Our comforter and companion.
You are the Indwelling Gift of God Most High
You are the Spirit of our embodied Lord Jesus
You are the sign and seal of the joy to come.
Our inheritance and our shepherd.
In you we find our life
In you we have our breath
In you we are at peace
You designed us with great care.
You hold us together
In the lineage of Jesus.
Remind us of who you are
And thus who we are
Forever and ever.
Amen and Amen!
*Optional Reading: Mixed Blessing pp. 29-40 (Chapter Two)