26 You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
At our weekly Women’s Bible Study, a few of us were discussing the concept of “all” within Christianity. Pastor Joe’s devotional earlier this week, “Asking the Impossible”, was particularly adept at reminding about how Christ calls us to do the seemingly impossible task to love all, as Christ has loved us. Today’s passage talks about another way of looking at “all” the children of God. Surely there is God’s commandment to love all, but there is also the idea that together all of us complete the Body of Christ just as we are.
As unique people within God’s Body, our differences aren’t just for us to overcome, this is challenging enough. Certainly we know of countless examples of how people –even just Christians who are Methodists– can and do think differently. Yet, together our differences are also our strengths. We are together God’s Body, whether we be of this faith or any other; are as “slaves” to the world, or feel “freely” connected by grace to the Spirit; and this is regardless of our gender.
Some people may debate my interpretation. There are those that may say that this scripture means only Christians, or just Christians of a certain pathway, but that’s not what God’s Word is saying. As an example from this passage, here it says, neither “Jew nor Greek” (meaning Gentiles) has a lock on being part of the people of God.
Perhaps if we could just get past our differences, we might see that this word “all” is for our benefit. It is a strength, which means that every part of God’s Body doesn’t have to do everything. Think about it! We don’t all have to preach or teach. We can’t all interpret the Word, feed the homeless, or care for the sick, just to name a few. But by prayer and connecting together, we can all share something in helping God’s mission become possible. Now, we might all learn to use our differences to cover the needs of a broken and hurting world. Now we might all just learn to richly love the spectrum of all God’s people as the Body of believers, set aside for God’s loving purpose in the world.
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
How do you see the spectrum of all God’s people as a benefit to helping the needs of the world? How is this also a challenge for you?
Prayer: Holy God, help me to see the differences among us as a strength for the world. I know this is a challenge, but I also know that only you can help us weave our uniqueness together so that we might thoroughly serve all your people and your earth. Amen.