Just Like Jesus / 21 Days of Justice Week 1 (Value & Dignity): SUNDAY
With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Invocation: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Word: For he (Christ) himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility. (Eph. 2:14)
Historian and New York Times bestselling author Jemar Tisby, in his book The Color of Compromise, describes our future, Heavenly reality and reminds Christians that Jesus calls us to work towards this goal now.
In that heavenly congregation, we will finally see the culmination of God’s gathering a diverse people unified by faith in Christ. We will not all be white; we will not all be black. We will surround the throne of the Lamb as a redeemed picture of all the ethnic and cultural diversity God created. Our skin color will no longer be a source of pain or arrogant pride but will serve as a multihued reflection of God’s image. We will no longer be alienated by our earthly economic or social position. We will not clamor for power over one another. Our single focus will be worshiping God for eternity in sublime fellowship with each other and our Creator.
This picture of perfection has been bequeathed to believers not as a distant reality that we can merely long for. Instead, the revelation of the heavenly congregation provides a blueprint and a motivation to seek unity right now. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). Christians have been mandated to pray that the racial and ethnic unity of the church would be manifest, even if imperfectly, in the present. Christ himself brought down “the dividing wall of hostility” that separated humanity from one another and from God (Eph. 2:14). Indeed, reconciliation across racial and ethnic lines is not something Christians must achieve but a reality we must receive. On the cross when Christ said, “It is finished,” he meant it (John 19:30). If peace has been achieved between God and human beings, surely we can have greater peace between people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. (p. 23)
Given our future, diverse reality in Heaven, how might this inspire Christians to treat people who differ in ethnicity, culture, and nationality with value and dignity today? Pray that, as messengers of the Gospel, we would value what God values and that we would dignify what God dignifies.
Prayer: Lord God, unity is a divine reality you have established by your Son Jesus. The dividing wall is removed. Help us live out that eternal unity here and now, in this time, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.