Sunday, February 12, 2012

Break Down the Walls that Separates Us

You probably don’t feel like you have a big problem with racial prejudice, I thought I don’t but after a long examine – I am sometime. Like most people, we do harbor some form of prejudice (even if that’s not exactly what you call it). Prejudice is an old story. In the letter of James, he writes, “My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?” he continued, “For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to a rich person, but you say to the poor one, ‘You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor’”. (2:1-3)

Our prejudice could be in the subtle form such as based on stereotypes, or personal references. Honestly writing, maybe you’re like me, its people with a lot of money who bother you. Or maybe it’s the disable people that you try your best to avoid. Or perhaps it’s people of another religion who make you uncomfortable. In human psychology, most of us make judgments all the time that dictate the types of people we get to know and the people we get to avoid. Maybe you’re friendly toward aunty cleaner in your campus or at workplace, but would you ever have them over for lunch? Maybe you’re sympathy toward a disable man who’s selling tissues near the escalator, but then would you say ‘hi’ to him?

We are more comfortable to be with the people who are more like us. ‘Comfort zone’ mentality is really a form of prejudice, even if it’s not an overt one. You and I both need to refresh our attitude toward others. Continuously remind ourselves that “[Jesus] Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles (that’s us!) into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” (Ephesians 2:14, on the bracket mine.) Even ‘the wall’ here refers especially to the wall of the law; it is also true for the walls that have separated us in some form or another such as race, status, interests, family background etc. The Good News is that Jesus had broken down these walls that separated us. Jesus is the great equalizer, you know! We are all falling short before God, and we are all in need. All of us need forgiveness, and thus anyone who comes to God through Jesus is completely forgiven.

Now, compare all these with the distinctions we make between people… as I pondered upon it: it is ridiculous in comparison! God offers acceptance to all people equally – and asks the same for you.

THINK BIG Jesus had “broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.”

START SMALL The following passages serve as powerful reminders for us today:
·        Don’t think of anyone as impure or unclean (Acts 10:28).
·        Let God be the judge of others (Romans 14:4).
·        You don’t have the right to condemn others (Romans 2:1).
·        Be hospitable – don’t refuse to eat with anyone …
no matter how different they are from you (Galatians 2:11-21).
·        Don’t discriminate against people based on dress or status (James 2:1-13)

GO DEEP God offers acceptance to all people equally – why not you?

START SMALL passages is quoted from Friendship First; New Testament (NLT), page 454. Thank you.
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