The Christian faith is often accused of intolerance. People have said that the statements of Jesus and the articles of faith are very exclusive. In contrast to those ideas, today’s reading highlights the inclusive love of God.
“… and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9b-10)
These verses remind us that Jesus’ sacrifice was for everyone and of the equality of believers in the family of God.
I need to be reminded of these words. My experience in mostly suburban churches in middleclass America doesn’t exactly reflect this type of diversity – believers “from every tribe and language and people and nation.” I have to confess that sometimes I see God as a middle-aged white man – something that I am very familiar with.
As I thought about the picture of the Kingdom of God as portrayed in these verses, I considered what I could do to better experience the inclusiveness described. On a local front, I could participate with other people groups and cultures as they express their Christian faith through worship and service. On a broader level, I could take advantage of mission trips to connect with believers in other nations.
It’s wonderful to be able to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities, but even if I never leave the confines of my local church, my heart must still be open to the diversity of people that Christ has ordained to be His Church.
Lord, expand my vision, strengthen my arms, and soften my heart.