Last week we watched and listened to Pastor Rich and Pastor Josh talk about race and ethnicity. They discussed some of the major issues we are facing today in the world and in the church, regarding the topics of selfishness, racism, and the sin of partiality. They reminded us that by nature we are sinful and selfish people, and we tend to go about prioritizing our own needs and desires above others. These heart attitudes of course result in these very difficult issues that we face, and we must look to Christ and the Word of God to find answers on how to resolve these conflicts in a way that is glorifying to Him.
One of those ways is through Worship, which is “the center of why God made different nations and ethnicities, and put boundaries and separation between them.” Pastor Rich mentions this while he and Josh discuss Acts 17: 22-31, which talks about how the Lord “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth…” (vs. 26)
To me this brings up a few thoughts. First of all, it emphasizes the importance and the beauty of worship. How wonderful is it that our Creator designed for believers from all over the world to worship together? Even when there seems to be nothing else in common, there is a bond through our identity as God’s children to worship and glorify him together! Secondly, I believe it shows God’s love for diversity. In the same way that there isn’t one type of flower or tree, it’s only fitting that He would create humans of His own image to also be different in many ways, all serving the same purpose of bringing Him glory.
There are also a few applications I think we can take away from this lesson. As it says in James, we as believers are called to be quick in listening and slow in speaking. This means that we should be loving and listen to those in need around us. Instead of prioritizing our own comfort and desires, let’s seek out other brothers and sisters in Christ in the church that we can be an encouragement to! In addition, let’s worship God in thankfulness for the beauty of diversity that He has created! Wouldn’t it be a dull world if we were all the exact same? And finally, let’s remember to continually call out to the Lord in repentance over our partiality. Pray that He would soften and humble our hearts to love others with compassion and empathy, and give us understanding towards one another.
I hope this gave you some encouragement this week as we continue loving Christ and others, together.