we’re all “heirs according to the promise” – but we all fall short

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:22-23

"All are welcome at this table"
“All are welcome at this table”

Today’s post is a classic “two-fer.” I have some more to share on our ongoing race conversation, plus there’s a joy bubbling over that I can’t keep to myself.

First, and this – I believe – is really important, I’d like to recommend Rebekah’s message from this past Sunday morning at WFPC. Here’s the link: “Heirs According to the Promise.” For those who don’t know, Rebekah serves as senior pastor at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church here in North Carolina.

Rebekah nests the sermon in the context of the Bible study she was leading, the exact same time the Charleston shootings took place. She shares some remarkable stories about her family running afoul of segregationists in rural Georgia, points to the teachings of Paul vis-a-vis equality, and echoes the crystal clear invitation from Jesus to walk in the light and to live in love.

OUR GUILT TOO: Then, and this is where she specifically challenged me, she warned against our tendency to play comparison games, to point to “those other people, the ones who are really racist,” to thank God that we’re “not as bad as them,” and to remain stuck, in our smugness, unwilling to move forward because we don’t believe this conversation has anything to do with us.

She didn’t say “smugness.” That’s my word about myself.

But she did say that we will never be able to move forward if we believe that we are not complicit, and she did say that we need to understand we all are guilty of the sin of racism.

“Look around,” she said, “if we believe that, ‘there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female,‘ and that, ‘we are all one in Christ Jesus;‘ (Galatians 3:26-29) then who is missing? Who is missing here today?” – Heirs According to the Promise.

Naomi and Andrew!
Naomi and Andrew! (images by Naomi Campbell)

JOY BEYOND JOY: Then, and this is just a short share from my heart, our son Andrew, along with our daughter-in-love Alicia, is here for a few weeks. Yesterday they drove up to Richmond to spend a couple of days with Naomi, Craig, and our grandchildren.

Andrew and Naomi didn’t get along growing up. And, to be honest, Rebekah and I couldn’t even imagine the vaguest possibility of any improvement. Ever.

Our children have, however, not only turned into the most amazing, talented, loving young-adults we could have prayed for (and we did), but they married the most awesome, gifted, loving young adults we could have prayed for (and we did). Additionally, and this is the point of part-deux of this post, our children love each other, respect one another, and they get along beautifully.

Naomi, Craig, David, Alicia, Andrew, Beks

Photographs like these simply make my heart sing. I am so grateful. What else can I say, other than, “Thank you, God.”



  1. Hi Derek,

    I am so glad I paid your site a visit. It was definitely worth it!

    I have to agree with Rebekah, we are all guilty. We are often self-righteous and we should be asking God for forgiveness. We are never better than anyone. We all fall short.

    And I’m happy for your family. Looks like God answered your prayers. Praise be to Him!

    Love your site and lookig forward to new posts!



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