Segregation. People want to rank groups of people based on lots of different criteria such as: finances, skin color, ethnicity, upbringing, education, etc. Because of our sin nature, discrimination, racism, and elitism are prevalent in our world. However, because people are also created in the image of God, those that choose to fight bigotry become heroes. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Abraham Lincoln come to mind as heroes who dared to buck the biases of their culture and stand for the equal value of all mankind. Alongside these familiar names, I want to add another: Jesus Christ.
When you see Jesus name in this context you probably did one of two things. 1) You might have said, “Of course!” and pointed to the love Jesus displayed to all people during His earthly ministry. 2) You might have said, “No way!” How can you put someone who ministered in a culture dominated by slave trade yet never speaking out directly against it in the same breath with these civil rights crusaders?
I think that both of these perspectives are somewhat incomplete in their understanding of why Jesus name should be mentioned at the top of any discussion of a fight against racism, elitism, etc. Jesus did not lead a rally against racism or simply live out a positive example of cultural integration. Jesus did far more! The book of Ephesians (2:11-22) tells us that He made peace between cultural divisions AND made peace between all kinds of people and God Himself. This sure beats merely picketing town square or trying to persuade people of a better way. He created the groundwork for true reconciliation and unity.
This Sunday at Wildwood in our 9:30 and 10:50 worship services, we will look at the second installment in our series “Rolling Stones: Understanding God’s Mobile Home” by studying Ephesians 2:11-22 together as we see how Jesus creates peace between people and God in His new Temple. Join us this Sunday!