The Word Became Flesh: Seeing Race Differently

In this video Encounter, Yii-Jan Lin creatively interprets John 1:1 to offer a new way of seeing race in our culture.

Yii-Jan Lin is Assistant Professor of New Testament at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She received her PhD in religious studies from Yale University in 2014. In her monograph, The Erotic Life of Manuscripts (Oxford University Press), she explores the relationship between NT textual criticism and the biological sciences, beginning in the 18th century. In particular, she explores how the metaphors of race, family, evolution, and genetic inheritance have shaped the goals and assumptions of the field. Other research areas include gender, especially ancient constructions of masculinity, sexuality, and literary theory.

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My Identity: A Poetic Reflection

This poem offers a reflection on how the way we look influences how we see ourselves. But it also shows how God influences that way of seeing.

Extra wide womanmyidentity

Contributed by Lis Valle

I carry on my skin color the identity assigned to me.

I am a woman without a land, a traveler, one of the many that form migration waves.

I am mobilization.

I am Hispanic. I am Latina. I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a student. I am a lawyer. I am a teacher. I am a performer. I am a woman.

I am above all God’s child. Don’t call me any other name. I am God’s child.

That’s the only identity we need to treat each other right.

As God’s child I count on God to have my back. I have to trust God even when I don’t want.

I am God’s child. I am God’s daughter. Precious in God’s sight I am. Valuable as God has valued me I am.

I carry in myself the identity God assigned to me. I am God’s daughter.



Lis Valle is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she is now a third year Ph.D. student in the Homiletics and Liturgics program of the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

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Take Action

Prayer Action: Race & Image of the Divine

One of the best spiritually-infused action is to prayer about issues surrounding race. Here are some prayer suggestions.

Contributed by Ellen Knight

Prayer Ideas

  • Pray Matthew 22:37-40 to help us remember that loving God means loving neighbor and that loving neighbor means loving God.
  • Pray for imagination, that we may fathom a world where all races are seen as reflections of the complex and beautiful face of God.
  • Pray for courage that we may become leaders who show the world the kin-dom of God.
  • Pray for sensitivity that we may understand the wide spectrum of struggles that our brothers and sisters in all areas of the world face due to race or cultural origins.
  • Pray for understanding of the ways in which race, poverty, imprisonment, and oppression have become intertwined in this and many other countries. 


Ellen Knight is a writer and seminarian who lives in Florence, SC. She is a former teacher who now works with area nonprofits and ministries to address issues of poverty and housing in her community.

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