Focus Scripture: Galatians 3:28
"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
That is quite a statement and one we have not done well living into as a people of faith. Over the many centuries since Galatians was written and since it was deemed authentic and included in the canon, that is, included in the Bible, the church did not literally live into the promise of this passage. It is only within our lifetime that some denominations have eliminated the distinction in the church between male and female, and that position is far from universal.
It is within living memory that the church in the United States eliminated the formal distinctions between slave and free, or the descendants of slave and free. Indeed the issue of slavery split the Methodist church before the Civil War--a divide that was not repaired until almost 100 years later.
We are still much more likely to see distinctions that do not exist in God's eye, much to God's sorrow I am sure. We allow issues of class, sexuality, race (which is an entirely cultural construct to begin with), and gender to divide us even as God calls us to be one in Jesus. Where do you see the divides?
Dear God of us all, help us to heal the divides that harm us. Help us to see each other through your eyes. Help us know, in our hearts, that we are one in your sight. Amen,