There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28 NIV)
Love in Black and White
In the fall of 1974, five â€śJesus Peopleâ€ť descended on an Assembly of God church in rural Alabama. One was barefoot, another wore tattered and torn tie-dyed blue jeans, two were longhaired and the fifth, me, sported an afro. Our rainbow ragamuffin band of charismatic college co-eds filled the front row on the left side of the sanctuary. We sang really loudly, mostly off key. We danced and said â€śAmen.â€ť We even clapped our hands and shouted with the voice of triumph because thatâ€™s what the preacher said to do.
We worshiped at that little church until we graduated. At our last Wednesday evening service, the pastor bade us farewell from the pulpit and told us he was glad we had chosen to worship there. When the service ended, a middle-aged lady with really red hair pinned up in one of those Pentecostal buns came to me. With tears streaking her face and a cracked voice, she said, â€śPam, when you came here there were two kinds of people I hated. Hippies and niggers and you were both. You didnâ€™t care. You just went down to the front pew and worshipped Jesus like you didnâ€™t know I hated you.â€ť As she talked, I started to cry, too. Loving people with the love of Jesus is all Iâ€™d ever wanted to do. That night I understood what it means to leave ninety-nine for one. Godâ€™s love in me had reached someone, maybe only one, but it had made a difference.
I hugged her and told her I loved her. She was right, I didnâ€™t realize she hated me. Iâ€™d learned to allow my faith in Christ to be my shield. Worship to Him became my strong tower. Her comment reminds me of the woman at the well who asked, â€śWhat do you a Jew have to do with me a Samaritan?â€ť My actions showed her what really matters is worship of God the Father in spirit and in truth.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28 NIV). In Southern vernacular, what the writer is saying is, â€śGod doesnâ€™t see color or gender. When He looks at us who have been born again, He sees the Blood of Jesus. He doesnâ€™t love in Black and White. He loves in crimson red.
Do you embrace the nations?