June 19, 2016 - Children of God

Brothers and sisters:
Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ
have clothed yourselves with Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither slave nor free person,
there is not male and female;
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if you belong to Christ,
then you are Abraham’s children,
heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:26-29

In the United States we recently suffered through a terrible crime perpetrated by a single person.  Then we imposed more suffering on ourselves - but this time many more participated.  In the name of unity, we asserted ludicrous moral distinctions among ourselves.  In the name of compassion, we breathed venom at one another.  We treated each other as caricatures and assumed the worst of everyone. We stopped trying to understand each other and sought instead to subordinate each other.  In our self-righteousness, we did nothing but encourage division.

It is certainly nice, uncontroversial and socially responsible to hear Paul’s words as requiring us to reach across ethic, religious, and economic divides.  It makes this passage pithy and maybe a little insipid.  It is harder to reach across political divides. It is outright counter-cultural to reach across moral divides and assert that we all have a common divine heritage that is irrevocable.  But that is the challenge of faith.