There are few things that I love more than seeing diversity in the church. When Puerto Ricans, Pakistanis, Brazilians, African Americans, Caucasians, Hmong, Mexicans, and Germans sing and pray and praise God together, I thank the Spirit for his saving work among every people, tribe, and nation.
Which is why I’m so ashamed to think back to my childhood. I shudder to remember what I found funny back in those days. I’m too ashamed to repeat the jokes I once repeated at recess. And, unfathomably, I was a Christian. I believed in the God who made the world, loved the world, and forgave the world. But somehow that didn’t translate into my love for all the world. There’s so much I’ve had to learn, to repent of, and to change.
Are any of you like me? Has God had to open your eyes to his love of diversity? If so, join me in a united confession of sin. And, just as urgently, join me in a grateful sigh of relief. Because Jesus didn’t let his Jewishness stop him from justifying Gentiles like me and most of you. He refused to let racial uniqueness stop him from saving sinners, no matter what their skin color or native language. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16). Those words refuse to let racism into the church. And they offer hope to those who are changing their ways and loving the people whom our Father created and saved.