Who are you?
In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:28 (The Message)
When we are asked who we are, often our reply will include our gender, occupation, ethnicity and/or name. These are parts of our identity that are important to us and readily accepted by others as we respond. We might add that we are people of faith because we know that our belief in Jesus makes a difference to who we are and how we relate to others.
Paul writing to the Galatians reminds them to look to Christ, to remember the work of the Spirit amongst them and the importance of faith, so like Abraham we are credited with righteousness. This transforms our identity and any calls of ethnicity, gender or class status. We are now baptised and clothed in Christ, children of promise knowing that everything has changed.
In our common relationships through Christ we esteem the other better than ourselves and lay down our life in the process. We put a towel around our waist and wash the other person’s feet. Further, ‘…the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.’ (1 Corinthians 12:23-24 NLT). We are called to show a special preference for others for the health of the whole body and a witness to the world.
Therefore, as part of the family and community of God our relationships take on new meaning and significance. The elements of superiority, competition, privilege and hierarchy are now examined through the fruit of the unifying Holy Spirit. The Spirit that came down on Pentecost now motivates us, so that in our thinking and behaviour Jew is not against Gentile or vice versa. Nor is one ethnic group better than another. The Spirit speaks into gender issues saying one is not above or below the other. The same Spirit looks into employment or class status saying while we are all uniquely different we are all equally created in God’s image.
In Christ’s sacrifice hostility causing division is overcome, God’s empathetic love swells our hearts and the Spirit works miracles. We are drawn closer to God and our neighbour. So who are you? I am a child and a disciple of the Great I Am.
Thank you God for bringing the Church together full of diversity where everyone is valued, heard, seen and included by you. Thank you Jesus who remains Head of the Body. Thank you Spirit for your ceaseless work. We pray in the name above all names, Jesus. Amen.
Study by David Gibbs
About the writer:
David Gibbs is a Minister in the Birmingham congregation of Grace Communion International, and also serves on the Pastoral Council.
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