In Sunday worship, we’ve been going through the book of Acts together. We’ve been spending a few weeks in Acts 10, where God helps Peter realize that the great divide between Jew and Gentile has been broken.
I’ve been thinking about how easily we make barriers and walls and ranking systems with each other. The human condition seems to be such that we grade each other on the curve, always placing ourselves on the right side of the bell curve…we’re not perfect, but we’re certainly ahead of that one. “Searching For God Knows What” by Donald Miller has been very helpful in bringing this front and center for me. What happened in the garden, Miller says, was not so much a breaking of rules, a theological “fall”, as it was a breaking in our relationship with God. We were created for God to speak infinite value into our souls, and instead we spend our lives desperately seeking approval, validation, and value from others.
Here’s food for thought from Miller’s book. After talking about all the social cliques and hierarchies in his Jr. High growing up, he explains why he didn’t speak out against it:
I get this feeling that after the world ends, when God destroys all our buildings and our flags, we will wish we had seen everybody as equal, that we had eaten dinner with prostitutes, held them in our arms, opened up spare rooms for them and loved them and learned from them. I was just another stupid kid in the flow, you know; I didn’t know any of these things. I didn’t know it didn’t matter what a person looked like, how much money they made or whether or not they were cool. I didn’t know that cool was just a myth and that one person was just as beautiful and meaningful as another…You can hardly fault me for this stuff, can you? Like I said, it felt important to climb the social ladder, it felt important to defend our identities, it felt as though we were saving our own lives.
May we, before the world ends, begin to see each other as God sees us.
When the World ends from the album “Everyday” by The Dave Matthews Band is playing in iTunes.