Christ Community Church is supposed to be a radically diverse community.
I know this because the Bible celebrates the gathering of different cultures, classes and colors while mourning segregation and separation as tragic and intolerable. In Ephesians 2, the apostle Paul reminds us that Jesus has 'created in himself one new man in place of the two' (v15). This reconciliation demonstrates that the church universal is presently and forever a radically diverse family. Paul then applies that diversity to our local contexts with his reminder that Jew and Gentile 'are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit' (v22).
Diversity Is Challenging
Paul's call to diversity presents a significant challenge to our largely mono-colored, mono-cultured, and mono-classed church. We must wrestle with the question of how we respond to what God is saying to us about his intentions for Christ Community. We are not interested in political correctness nor are we naive enough to believe that desegregation in our church is simply a matter of focus and effort.
We 'Remember' When Life Gets Hard
Paul knows this, too, which is why he calls us to 'remember' in Ephesians 2:11. Remember that God has transformed you from the walking dead into trophies of grace (Ephesians 2:1-10). Remember that he brought about this change by blessing you - choosing you, predestining you, redeeming you - as a demonstration that Jesus is God's plan to reconcile all that is presently alienated (Ephesians 1:3-14). Remember that you who were once far off have been brought near. Remember that at one time you were not part of God's family yet now you are (Ephesians 2:11-13).
The Next Step Towards Diversity
'Remember' is the next step we take towards becoming the radically diverse community that we already are. Before we plan and plot and scheme and strategize, we remember. We remind ourselves and each other day after day the good news that we have become part of God's kingdom through God's cross by God's grace. We will not get where God wants us to go by resting on our laurels or working harder. Radical diversity is a byproduct of radical grace.
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