Monday, June 11, 2007

There is no distinction Here

I am right now sitting in a bagel/coffee shop in my neighborhood taking care of my Monday work. The gal sitting directly in front of me sat down with her coffee and work, and when the young lady showed up with her bagel she asked her if there was anything else she needed. Without even looking up, the older gal dismissed her with a condescending wave of her hand.

This caused me to reflect on a passage we dealt with recently in church. Colossians 3:11 states:

“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”

In addition, Galatians 3:28 says:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

In addition to the obvious sense that God created us all, no matter our position in the world and sees us all through the same eyes of love and forgiveness, I am struck by the first word of Colossians 3:11: “Here.”

The world is supernaturally efficient at erecting barriers between people, but here there are no barriers. The world loves to draw ad hoc distinctions between people, but here they simply do not belong.

The Church is an amazing thing. Here all that matters is Christ and the grace he has shown to each and every one of us. In here we tear down barriers that dominate the world around us.

If I don’t pay attention to it, I will become a child of my culture and will see people through the lenses of discrimination and prejudice. How have my eyes been tinted in this way? What barriers within me need to be broken down, so that when I encounter the world as a Christ-follower, or when I walk through the doors of the church, there is no distinction here?

UPDATE: The gal sitting across from me is now on the phone talking about her church experience this weekend. Lord, help me be an honest and genuine witness to your love!

7 comments:

Rusty said...

Let's hope the server didn't overhear the conversation the young "lady" had. They will know us by our love?

The Gyrovague said...

I know her, because I am her sometimes... ouch! Nothing like painful reflection to deflate my ego, I need that sometimes.

Keep up the good posting!

Phil Steiger said...

These are exactly the things I have been thinking since the incident. How often have I come across that way?

Daria said...

aw, beautiful! beautiful! = ) >hug< what a great post, friend (including the honest introspection!)~

Kyle said...

Pity you didn't say something to the woman.

Phil Steiger said...

Kyle-

Ineresting comment...what would you have said to a stranger if you were in my position?

mike said...

What could you actually say to a stranger in that situation? I'm strong believer in actions over words. Being an example and demonstrating Christ's love towards the server, in hopes that the lady observed and learned. Example, example, example. That's all you really can do without stepping on the toes of the lady and ultimately being counter-productive. She may have taken it offensively, but who really knows?