Isn’t that the way the church is supposed to work? God never meant us to gather in monochromatic assemblies. He never meant for one ethnic or economic group to position itself higher in the pecking order as the more learned, the more spiritual, the more zealous. The prophets prophesied a multi-cultural kingdom. It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways... Isa 2:2-3.
Even as far back as Abraham God promised, “In thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed,” Gen 22:17. Not one nation, not two, but all. When you read the book of Genesis and watch God funnel his choice down to one people, then in the New Testament see that funnel turned upside down to include salvation for all in the fulfillment of that promise, you cannot possibly exclude anyone and still show a true appreciation for God’s plan.
And you cannot make yourself better than any other without annulling grace. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love, Gal 5:6.
“God is no respecter of persons,” Peter said to Cornelius, and even he had to learn that lesson and teach it to others. And the struggle went on for years. Have we not in two millennia finally figured this out? Even Jesus began the process when he chose Simon the Zealot and Matthew the publican. If ever two people, even of the same race, could be polar opposites in ideology, it was these two, but they overcame their biases and went on to work peaceably and respectfully together to conquer the world for their Lord—the whole world, not just one race.
Who are you teaching? Who are you welcoming into your assemblies? Who puts their feet under your table and holds your hands during the prayer of thanksgiving for the meal?
A long time ago, my little boys wanted some friends to stay overnight and go to school with them in the morning. “We’ll tell the teachers they are our cousins.”
We adults looked at one another and smiled. These playmates were black and my boys were about as fair-skinned as they come. Their father shook his head and said, “I don’t think that will work.”
In all innocence and sincerity they asked, “Why not?”
Finally Keith looked at the father and said, “We’re brothers, aren’t we? So I guess that makes them cousins after all.”
Would that we could all be as color-blind as an innocent child, as color blind as the Lord who died for all.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise, Gal 3:27-29.