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Graphic with light blue background. It has multicolored quilt circle motif around author's name on left. Lower right has heart in hands logo in coral color. That logo appears in most photos on the website.

Graphic by Canva.

God values each human, no matter where they have come from, no matter their station in life, no matter their sex. However, God has no favorites. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, spoke to the Christians in Galatia on this very topic as they worked to get along with each other. In that church, there was an attitude that somehow the Jewish people had an edge on spirituality over others. But Paul was trying to speak to all the areas where divisions can come: between Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), slaves or free people, men and women, and the list can go on and on. However, in Christ, those divisions don’t exist. Unlike most of us, God doesn’t have personal preferences.

We, on the other hand, have lots of preferences.

For many of us, they do in some parts of our minds and hearts. We often wish they didn’t, but they do. Educated vs. uneducated, rich or poor, ¬†divorced or “happily” married (which may be true or may be a farce…often no one knows). The list can go on as long as my arm. We rarely mention our personal prejudices aloud. It’s too embarrassing. But God knows our hearts. He knows better than we can admit to ourselves what our prejudices are. It makes no difference what our words are. They can be politically correct or not. It means nothing.

Jesus sees people in such radically different ways than we do,

Where is our heart? Do we honestly believe that we ARE the same before God, as our brother or sister in Christ who is homeless? Who smells bad? Who is a different color or speaks a different language? Do we think we are better than the older person who is struggling with the aging process and can’t hear well or remember things? How kind are we to the immigrant who can’t speak the language yet? Do we try to help them learn to function in US life?

Today celebrates Martin Luther King’s birthday. Many in the Bible believing church were unaware and detached from what he was doing at the time. We are becoming more socially aware, but we were so behind, we may never catch up. The important thing is that we remember these words from Galatians.

…for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
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 promi
se.

Galatians 3:26-29 ESV
If we are in Christ, there is a connection to others in the Body of Christ and in the Church Universal that we a missing out on by distancing ourselves from whichever groups we stay away from. It harms our local body if any of those groups are not part of it. Is there input from your women that you listen to and hear? Or do you see them as just being noise in the background and people to work in the kitchen and watch the children? Those are certainly important things, but not every woman is gifted in those two areas. There is no where they are limited in that way in the Bible. They are only limited to being pastor of your local church and being in authority over the men. Some even believe there is a case to be made around that.

Listen to you excuses. Are they truly valid? Can they stand up to Biblical testing?

Pay attention to all your excuses about why you don’t have certain groups involved in your local church. Do you want them there? Why? Why not? Think about it. If they are Christians and in Christ and you are in Christ, there is nothing to prevent you from worshipping together. Think about your personal prejudices. Take them to God with repentance. How can you encourage other Christians or near-Christians in that group to be part of your local body?

IT’S THE MIDDLE OF JANUARY AND I’M SLOWLY MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!…