The more divided we are the less alive we are

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Fully Alive”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “The more divided we are the less alive we are.”
 
I grew-up in a little town in New Jersey about thirty miles outside of New York City. There was a commuter train that ran through our town that would take you to Penn Station in the heart of the city. As an older teenager and young adult, I would sometimes take that train and spend the day exploring New York. By means of walking, buses, and subways, I would go to Times Square, Fifth Avenue, Central Park, as well as places like Little Italy and China Town.
 
I was always amazed at the cultural diversity in the city. There seemed to be people from every nation in the world. It reminded me of the important symbology of the Statue of Liberty. Our nation is a melting pot of cultures, and we’re stronger for it.
 
Later in life that love of exploring and experiencing diverse cultures carried over to a career in the U.S Navy, followed by many more years of leading mission teams on international humanitarian relief efforts to remote locations around the world. Again, I loved the exposure to different people and cultures. What an amazing and diverse world the Lord has created!
 
Sadly, today in our country we seem to have lost sight of our rich and diverse cultural heritage. Instead, we’re deeply divided along racial, ethnic, social, political, and religious lines. We seem to be focusing more on our differences and the things we don’t like about each other, rather than on the things we can share and appreciate and enjoy about each other.
 
In Galatians 3:28 the Apostle Paul teaches that in the body of Christ such divisions should not exist. Instead, we should be focused on our shared identity in Christ. We are still male and female, Hispanic and Asian and Caucasian, Republican or Democrat, a dog person or a cat person, and we don’t need to stop being any of those things, but we have a more important shared identity in Christ. Rather than being put off by our differences, we bring them together, enjoy and celebrate what’s special and unique about the other, and our Christian fellowship is stronger and better because of it.
 
What’s true in the church can and should be true in the larger society. And perhaps we as Christians can help to make that so. Perhaps we can take this model of Galatians 3:28, which works so well in our church fellowships, and use it more in society. Maybe we can show everyone else how a shared civil life can work – even if our groups are different in many ways.  
 
The more we segregate ourselves from our fellow citizens the less fully alive we are as individuals and as a nation. The more division there is, the worse off we all are.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
 
 
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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