Monday, April 24, 2023

No More Segregation - Martin Wiles

no more segregation
For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when . . . he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. Ephesians 2:14 NLT

At the time, I didn’t understand what no more segregation might entail.

As a child, the only color differences I knew were the ones my parents taught me. When I was in the fifth grade, our family moved to Jackson, Tennessee. For the first time, I had a person of color in one of my classes.

I didn’t understand the word segregation—I may not have even known it—nor had I ever wondered why people of other colors and races didn’t attend my school. In the 1960s, my hometown was a hotbed of racial tension, but I didn’t understand why. I simply knew the National Guard was called in, bricks were thrown through car windows, certain areas were under curfew, and several local college students had been killed. I knew the town had a bowling alley, but little did I know the owner refusing to let people of color in had started the riot that would eventually lead to a book entitled The Orangeburg Massacre. The city had built a wall of separation. 

Prior to Christ’s coming, Jews and Gentiles were also segregated. Most Jews considered Gentiles beyond saving. But Jesus shone the love of God the Father for all people. He went to the rejected, the scorned, the shunned, and the avoided. He taught that God loves all people equally.

Fortunately, I grew up in a home where my parents and grandparents taught me to love all people. Color wasn’t important, nor was social standing. God created them all: red and yellow, black and white. They were all precious in his sight.

Only people see the differences that divide us in reality: skin color, race, class, culture, and economics. Since God loves all, regardless of any of the preceding, we should as well. I’ve made that my life’s goal and taught my children to do the same. 

If Christ loved so much that he would die for all people, how can we possibly love any less?

Let God’s love for you break down any walls of segregation you’ve built.

Prayer: Father, may we see all people as You do: worthy of love and capable of doing great things in Your kingdom. 

Tweetable: How can you help break down walls of segregation? 

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