Daily Devotional - 27 August 2020
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:28-29).
Black lives matter. Women’s lives matter. Children’s lives matter. Unborn lives matter. Impoverished lives matter. Persecuted lives matter. Today, I am not making a political statement, but rather a theological one. God has made it clear in His word, the Bible, whose lives matter–ALL lives matter; but as human beings, wherever we tolerate systemic mistreatment of a particular group of people based on the colour of their skin, their ethnicity, their gender, their age, economic status, religion or lifestyle choices (whether ‘sinful’ or not), we deny this truth.
When God created the first two humans, He created them to rule as one. Their disobedience of God and the resulting introduction of sin to God’s very good creation, introduced a shift from ‘very good’ to ‘poisoned.’ And that poison introduced pain, death and ruined relationships. As the Messiah, part of the redemptive work Jesus accomplished on the cross was for the restoration of relationships. We are once again able to enjoy a relationship with God as a result of the forgiveness that can be ours. We are also free to enjoy the ‘oneness’ which was ours as human beings at the Creation. But too often we cling to our sinful desires for power and worship of lesser things. We have set hierarchies in place throughout our history, beginning with God’s warning to the woman, “Your desire will be for your husband, but he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). Rather than craving a relationship with God, the woman would shift these feelings to her husband opening the way for his domination of her. But that was never God’s intent for His most special creation–to be treated or to act in the place reserved for God alone.
As human beings we value the wrong things–power, prestige and wealth. God values truth, compassion and ‘oneness’–the recognition that we are all of equal value in the sight of God, a recognition that should be evidenced in our thoughts, words and actions towards all others. The ripple effects of our wrong directed values are staggering. An unborn child is not valued as a person with rights until the moment of its birth. A child’s welfare is disregarded as not having obtained rights of their own. A non-white male is treated with automatic suspicion. The homeless person on the street is treated as a nuisance. Doors of opportunity are closed or opened based solely on the announcement that greets an individual at birth, “It’s a boy!” versus “It’s a girl.” Others can be forcibly silenced or eliminated simply because they do not look, act or believe the same as us.
And I wish the guilt was simply the world’s, but it’s not. The Church is rife with evidence of having valued the wrong things too. Until we learn to live the message of Galatians 3:28-29, our talk of ‘equality’ and ‘worth’ in God’s sight is just lip-service. Forgive us Lord for our blatant disregard of your values. Help us to view other people the way You do–loved, made with a divine purpose, forgivable and no less valuable in Your eyes than we ourselves are.
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!