Friday, July 15, 2016
There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28(NLT)
Separation, arguments, prejudice, unfairness; what a tangled existence we human beings create for each other. When it comes to things that separate or divide people, the list is pretty long:
· Race – that’s always a big one these days.
· Lifestyle – there are messy people, clean people, fast and slow people; there are skinny people and generously piled “high and wide” people.
· Language – Press one to continue in English
· Region – I am one of the few “Yankee preachers” to ever have an ordination certificate signed by one Jefferson Davis!
· Age – the young person complains the adults have it made, while the aged shake their heads in disdain over the way youth is wasted on the young.
· Economics – the poor and rich seldom rub elbows.
· Religion – Our creeds have created more different kinds of separation and distrust than 9/11.
· Gender – there is a whole war going on to determine who has the power, or even if you will stay the gender you were born; whew!…tangled mess, indeed!
Separation…you stay over there, don’t get in my space! Anger, contention, strife, games-playing, backbiting. This is the stuff of which legalism is made. This is what Jesus came to forgive…and what he expects us to forsake.
While the list of things that separate us is quite long, there is only a very short list of that which unites people. There are two: family and love. That’s it…just family and love. I tried to think of anything else that will truly unite people, and, other than accepting one another in this human family with love, there is nothing.
In 2007 we added two rooms to our house so my Mom and Dad could live with us. During the 8 month project there was an 8’x25’ dumpster next to the house full of scrap wood, shingles, discarded Pepsi bottles and sandwich wrappers.
Other inhabitants included millions of fly larvae, mice and roaches, not to mention the odd family or two of black snakes. (Don’t tell
I said that!) Elizabeth
If I were to have asked Mom and Dad if they preferred to live in the new rooms or the dumpster, the only question would be if I have been drinking. Nobody in his right mind lives in a dumpster if there’s a new house waiting.
Yet, when it comes to living in faith, accepting others, we human beings would rather live in the “dumpster of separation” our prejudices and fears create, rather than the new rooms of joy Jesus is building for us.
Paul calls to us to make a decision about the dumpster. How do we live like Paul said – in Christ, with Christ living his life through our life? It’s living together in love, in the faith family. That’s what Jesus came to die for, that we might have a together life; we call it communion. Sin separates us from God and each other. Jesus came to break down the barriers that separate us, so that we can walk together.
He came to tow away the dumpster of separation. He’s building a new house full of love and family. And there’s room for everybody!
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