He jostled and flowed within a large crowd. Among them, he was ramped up and impassioned — yes — and even more he was sonant, syllabic and bold-voiced  about the divine excitement. Urgency was on him and he began to speak to the crowd about the ultimate intention, to bring all living things that will into unity with each another.

The crowd grew. He spoke from within it; they moved as one and he advocated the gorgeous, healing, superb vision of unification. They ran after him. He spoke from the heart of a beautiful future where all living things will be respected and loved — he was absolutely sure this would happen. He said that the desire  was that all living things become one.

The separatists were present, and as he concluded his impassioned appeal, they basked naked around him, proud and unashamed in their idealized, politicalized,  spiritual exclusivity — and they smugly opposed what he said.  The pressing crowd, the critical religious elite, him alone and yet among them, there was a kind of dream-like vision stupor present — around Jesus.

I woke this morning to the news that Britian has withdrawn from the European Union and to the continuing news that America is strongly divided on the issue of immigration. A group of Brits, and Americans, want the “strangers” out. There is a growing, angry voice in our nation and our world advocating a new nationalism and a renewed political and social isolationism. This arises from a growing fear of the other, and with it comes the ubiquitous readvocacy of separation on the basis of nationality, belief, race and religion.

In my understanding of God, and Jesus, this trend is not Biblical, and it’s not Christian; it is political and it is worldly. God told Abraham, “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” From the beginning, God has had an inclusive vision. Paul unabashedly taught the church in Ephesians 1, that God’s will is “to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”

Jesus was so open to including people outside his racial and religious circle that he was vehemently criticized, and yet he remained firm that his vision was to gather everyone he could at the banquet, to bring everyone under his wing, to save everyone he could. As a results, and getting this as they did, the early church was multi-ethnic and meta-national to the max because they followed Christ’s command to take the gospel to all nations. The early church overcame their own Jewish exclusivity and took the gospel world-wide. Thank God! In this way, they included us.

So why is there a strong, angry, anti-immigrant voice in America today? It is becuase the modern middle-class is shrinking, and it is fearful of losing its place, and it is mad. Things have changed, people have traveled, there are terrorists among us, we are afraid. We live in a not-brave new world, we live in the era of the  the stanger. To many the world seems and is more dangerous.

I somewhat understand this, but what  I don’t understand is how  Christians, God’s own people, those who have been included by God, lose our vision for what God is all about and join in separatist thinking. God is about salvation, God is about compassion — God is love. God is all about — he always has been — healing and saving anyone who would let him, and this isn’t limited to a particular class, to a certain race, to people of one religion or one nation. God cares for the alien, the stranger, the refugee, the citizen — all. Read the Bible. It says this.

If the people of the world come to our doorstep, if we mingle with the crowd, isn’t this an opportunity to love people who were once far off? Isn’t this an opportunity to fulfill the Great Comission? Have we forgotten Christ’s goal, his purpose and his passion to save, not condemn, the world? Yes, we need to be wise, yes we need to be careful, yes we need to protect the innocent, but yes too, we need to love all people as God does.

Our Chritianity needs to supersede our nationalism. Our mission needs to go beyond our politics and our love needs to quiet our anger and our fears. The Christian calling is to move among the crowd, to connect with people from all backgrounds and to join God’s gorgeous, excited passion to unite all things possible in Christ.  Our Christain dream, our Christian vision — it is for unification, not separation.

Comments
  1. Marilynn Calderon says:

    Amen. God includes!!! He included me. God give me the courage to do the same. You make me proud and God makes me brave. 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    💗

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