Why I picked up this book:

Deidre RiggsOne: Unity in a Divide World” was written by Deidra Riggs, and I find her particularly intentional and passionate about the work of reconciliation. She is a person who uplifts and brings other persons together, so I’m glad to share this resource.

 

Who Should Read One: Unity in a Divide World:

 

We are so easily divided about everything. Given the current political and social climate in America, this book can be beneficial to anyone. I see it as an on-ramp book, particularly helpful for those just getting started on the reconciliation journey. A journey the Deidra defines as a “process that begins when two opposing parties come together for the purpose of peace.”

What’s in Store for You:

  1. A basic acknowledgement: We are all divided, and the church is no exception.

 

  1. A basic call to follow the way of Jesus:

 

“Oneness is God’s desire for us. Unity is what Jesus prayed for us. The odds are definitely in our favor (21).”

 

Throughout the book, Deidra shares her own journey with pursing reconciliation and becoming one with all kinds of people who are different. She shares her heart and longing, the ways she gets it right and wrong. She shares conviction from scripture.

 

“Oneness is not about conforming. Oneness is about transforming (97).”

 

She calls us to become more gracious, loving people—a united people who are not motivated by fear or scarcity, a people who lament and actively pursue justice.

 

My personal take-aways?

 

I like how Deidra speaks about the relational, and not just the philosophical, nature of bringing people together. Because of the division we first witness in Genesis Chapter 3, the work of reconciliation is not easy for us. However, it can become easy as we embrace our responsibilities as disciples and as we commit to our relationship of following Christ.

 

Deidra reminds us: “We must be reconciled first to God, and to ourselves, before we can be reconciled to one another or be agents of reconciliation in the world.”

 

This is good, old-fashioned Bible teaching: “Be reconciled to God; Go and be reconciled.”

 

This is also good mentoring and discipleship teaching. We must have a right understanding and relationship God, before we can have an accurate view and understanding of ourselves. We need this knowledge and perspective if we are to reconcile or love our neighbors well, particularly those who are different than us.

 

After reviewing the book, it was not lost on me how God has been ministering and speaking some of the same messages about our human brokenness, his call to justice, and the hope we have in him over the past year. This call to unity and oneness, beginning with the household of God, has been my practice and prayer for more than a decade. I’m so glad to witness God stirring the hearts of his people so more are communicating this message of reconciliation, and extending the table for others to partake in the blessing that Jesus offers to all God’ children.

 

Quotable:

 

“Our homogeneous congregations don’t provide us with any practical or relevant experiences for learning how to love the others in our world.” Deidra Riggs

 

“History has revealed the many ways humanity has justified its wrongs by draping sin in Scripture and hiding complicity in the cross rather than nailing it there.” Deidra Riggs

 

“Neither the work of reconciliation nor the vision of oneness comes without cost.” Deidra Riggs

 

Tweetable:

Book of the Wk: #One – “The entire story of the Bible—from Genesis through Revelation—is the story of reconciliation.” @DeidraRiggs 

 

Book of the Wk: #One – “In the mercy seat rests the power of God to heal our deepest hurts.” @DeidraRiggs 

 

Book of the Wk: #One – “We make things right when we see things right.” @DeidraRiggs 

 

 

Next Up on this Topic:

 

“Beyond Colorblind: Redeeming Our Ethnic Journey” by Sarah Shin

 

© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2018

 

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