We Are All The Same 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Praying over the city at Woodland Hills Church.
September 23, 2018· Saint Paul

Last night I had the supreme pleasure to get to know a lovely woman named PJ. When I use the word “lovely”, it fails to encompass all that PJ represents. I found her to be thoughtful, kind, fierce, posed, bold, intelligent, considerate, helpful…I could go on. I am blessed to have connected with her and to have her perspective enter my world.

PJ is from Nigeria and the only reason that’s relevant to this story is the way she described her homeland. It sounded like a magical place—at least if your primary experience with the world started in the USA. PJ tells me that in Nigeria, color and race is not a “thing”—in all truth and honesty, there is no need to “group” people into categories and to label them. She knows this because she never really experienced it until she came to America.

For me, it’s hard to understand a land where labels and categories are not a thing. One of the funniest observation PJ shared about our need to “label” was about the 2018 US Open winner, Naomi Osaka. PJ thought it hysterical to listen to broadcasters’ fumble about her ethnicity. Unsure trepidation as they’d bounce around with Black-Japanese, Haitian, Japanese-Haitian, Black…PJ said about the only channel confident enough to discuss this was a black channel who simply said, “Naomi…” This need to identify her into a group or subset of groups was so ridiculous it was funny.

I know I’ve been guilty of it. What to say to not offend, but the fact that we must put people in groups is ridiculous in and of itself, and if you are one of the people living in America reading this that’s part of the group thinking, “That’s why I don’t see color.” I can’t help but think, “You must be blind.” There is a divide in this nation and denying it exists will NOT solve it.

Today at church, the pastor, Greg Boyd, talked about the fact that we are ALL “in”. You might not even know that you are “in”, but you are. This being “in” requires no acknowledgement or commitment on your part. That work was already done. The power in this is the word ALL—this requires us to remove boundaries, to drop our preconceived notions, to stop this ever “grouping” of people, and love everyone.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 New Living Translation (NLT)
Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
(That is two ALLs and an EVERYONE. That’s about as emphatic and all-encompassing as you can get! <3)

Dearest Heavenly Father, You loved us so much that you came here to set the story straight. That it is not about rules and classes of people, but grace and love before all else. Please help us to see the world and all the people in it as you do—a holy creation for a majestic purpose. That is EVERYONE. The mercy You so freely gave to each of us works the best when we give it to others. Please bless us with Your eyes and Your heart so that we might do Your will and offer Your Mighty Hospitality everywhere. In Your Mighty and Holy Name…

If you are still not convinced that we “group” people here in the USA, I might suggest a Google search of James Baldwin—it will bring you on a road of enlightenment. Here is a great place to start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fZQQ7o16yQ

I’ll be praying that God open your eyes to what He’s allowed me to see. If you have other prayer requests, please lay’em on me. I love this Spiritual connection to you.

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