As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free; there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3: 27-28)
Instead of dividing up the world by discerning, deciding, and declaring who’s in and who’s out, Jesus makes us all one. All the divisions we put between people, Jesus dismantles, erases, obliterates. That means that when we put up such divisions we’re working against Jesus.
Although this may sound shocking, I need to say that Jesus has “no taste.” People who “have taste” know which fork to use, where to shop, what to wear, who is their kind and who isn’t. People of taste like distinctions. Distinctions make them feel secure, even superior—superior in an understated, tasteful way, of course.
Jesus had no taste because He played with everyone. He also had the audacity to say that we’re all equal, and the temerity to proclaim that we’re all brothers and sisters.
In the early church people were baptized naked. When a person was drawn out of the water, they were clothed with a pure white garment, symbolizing that they were the bride of the groom, Jesus.
When we’re baptized, we shed all distinctions. We aren’t baptized rich or poor, white or black, girls or boys. We’re just baptized—all in need, all with the hope that we will be the true bride of Christ.
When we draw lines between men and women, between cultures, between rich and poor, between Democrats and Republicans, our world shrinks. When we draw circles, our world expands. Jesus didn’t come to draw lines. He came to draw circles.
When we draw lines, we aren’t acting like the bride of Jesus. When we draw circles, knowing that Jesus has enough love for all, we’re acting like his faithful and true bride. As the bride of Jesus, I encourage us to follow our groom by drawing circles, not lines.
- Have you ever drawn lines and not circles? Ever wanted to exclude anyone? If so, when, with whom, and why?
- Have you ever been the one who wasn’t welcomed or included? Ever had to face some line, some prejudice, some barrier, because of your color or gender or what you had done or not done? If so, how did you respond?
- How might Jesus be calling you, as His bride, to draw some circles right now? Who might Jesus want you to include, welcome, and embrace?