Please read Galatians 3: 23-29.
Vs. 28 “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”
These verses highlight the pure divine gift that Christ is in our lives. There are no more dividing lines between us that function as judgment, as a ways of welcoming some into the body and keeping others out. The good news in this letter is that our main identity is in Christ above all else. Who you are is because of Christ, Paul says. You are an heir, a child of God, the one who bears Christ to the world.
Now of course, there are still differences among us, we are not all the same. For that, I am grateful. There are a variety of identities within ourselves, let alone our identities out in the world. There are a variety of gifts, of viewpoints, of expression, of ways of being. Our variety is what makes the body of Christ rich and full, and we need all of us to be complete. As Paul also writes, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:12-13).
Today I ask that you reflect on the “no longer ____ or _____.” Can you picture the dividing lines? Where are there dividing lines in your life? What would it mean or look like to erase those lines? How would erasing the lines but valuing each member of the body of Christ for who they are change how you interact with others? How you think about your neighbors? How you think about yourself?
May we rejoice in our common identity, and keep at the work of erasing the lines that keep us from living into the fullness of Christ.
In Peace, Pastor Ruth
Let us pray:
Loving God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Friend. Amen.