Fostering inclusiveness in the Body of Christ
Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. - Colossians 3:11
One Sunday morning in 1865, a black man entered a prominent and fashionable church in Richmond, Virginia. When Communion was served, he walked down the aisle and knelt at the altar. A rustle of resentment swept the congregation. How dare he! After all, believers in that church used a common cup to take communion.
Then all of a sudden, a very distinguished layman stood up, walked forward to the altar, and knelt beside the black man. It was Confederate General Robert E. Lee. With General Lee setting the example, the rest of the congregation soon followed his lead and joined the two in communion.
Since the Civil Rights movement began, our nation and our culture have been become dramatically more inclusive in terms of race. People of all races learn together, eat together, ride on the bus together, and worship together. What wonderful progress our country has made!
Yet despite this overall change in attitude, racism and ethnocentrism still persist among many individuals and communities today. But God’s Word tells us that in Christ, everyone has been made one. Our standing in Christ isn’t determined by our skin color, our culture, or our country of origin. We’re all one in Jesus!
As Christians, it’s our role to be an antidote against prejudice by accepting all people of all colors into the fold of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ!
Ask God to help you identify and eliminate prejudice attitudes in your life.
Questions for Thought
Over your lifetime, has God worked in your heart when it comes to your attitudes toward people of other races?
How can you help foster racial inclusiveness in our nation and our churches today?
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