One of my earliest memories from Sunday School is singing, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red, yellow, black and white they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” The song was about as diverse as we got in the Dutch community of Holland, MI in the late 50s. But it was and IS true. Jesus does love ALL ethnic groups. The trouble is that we find that hard to do.
The recent events of shooting and killing by and of police are tragic. And it appears that race was a factor in the loss of life of civilians as well as the policemen. Jesus loves all the children of the world. Easier to sing than to live. As a culture and as an individual.
Because we are created in the image of a relational God (Father, Son, Spirit) we are relational whether we are red, yellow, black or white. The quality of ALL our lives depends on the quality of our relationships. And not relationships just within our particular color. The quality of ALL of our lives depends on the quality of our relationships across ethnic lines.
It is the power of the Gospel that has made it so that there is no longer Jew or Gentile (or slaves or free or male or female). This does NOT mean there are no differences between races or social status or genders. Christianity is too ‘particular’ a reality to ignore differences (e.g. God showed up in a particular Jewish man; God chose a particular race in the Old Testament through whom to reveal himself). Any attempt for ‘unity’ that ignores or fails to respect differences is doomed to fail.
But there is a unity that is found at the deepest level possible for those who are IN Christ. If he is at the core of our being then, no matter if we are male or female, slave or free, or red, yellow, black or white then there is a new unifying reality for us. What is most true about us is far more powerful than our differences. We cannot expect the world to believe or live this out but we who are followers of Christ MUST believe and live this out.
Today, how can you express the new reality of IN Christ with your brothers and sisters of different ethnic groups?