Like God, I was often instructed to keep what I knew a secret.
Growing up as a pastor’s son, I was often privy to information I wasn’t allowed to share with my friends. Church information. Some good; some not so good. Whether they should have or not, my parents talked freely about church affairs in my presence. Perhaps they thought I didn’t understand. Maybe they supposed I’d keep it a secret without them actually having to tell me to. I knew about tough decisions, troubling situations, and church members who secretly drank, smoked, chewed, and visited places they shouldn’t have. Knowing and keeping secrets was something I accepted as the norm.
While secrecy was part of the preacher’s house, it seems a bit strange that God would keep secrets, but Paul says he does. The big one was that at some point in history Jews and Gentiles would stand on equal footing before God. Though the Old Testament told of a time in the future when Gentiles would be saved, most Jews never imagined God would consider them as equals.
I’m glad I live in the time period when God’s secret has been revealed. I’d hate to imagine living with no way to approach God. Since I’m not Jewish, that would be my plight. God plainly revealed the secret after Jesus’ resurrection.
Before he ascended back into heaven, Jesus commissioned his followers to spread the story of His love and the offer of forgiveness to all people—Jew and Gentile. Those who accepted would stand on equal footing before God.
There is no room for prejudice in God’s church. If God welcomes all equally, I can do no less. Every person has been created in the image of God—an image that is marred but there nevertheless. Just below loving God with all my being is his command for me to love my neighbor as myself.
I think I’ll share God’s secret. Will you?
Prayer: Father, thank You for loving and accepting all people equally.
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