Relationships across cultures: OMF September 2017

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen 1:27)

No doubt we were deeply saddened, even angry at the events that took place in Charlottesville in the US. Acts of violence and hatred which have ripped people apart all to do with the idea of racial and cultural superiority. Let’s be clear, as I am sure we all are, this is wrong and evil. There is no such thing as superiority due to the colour of someone’s skin.

As Christians we have good reason for making this point because we are all made in the image of God. Simply put, there is one race. This race has followed in the footsteps of Adam and is now a cracked image not reflecting the beauty of its original intention. Which means that there is one curse, that is sin. However, there is a great promise running through God’s word which finds its fulfilment in Jesus. The promise is that there will be a restored people. In effect, there is one cure; Christ.

How good it is to know these wonderful truths of God’s word which tell us of his loving kindness for rebellious children. It reminds us once again that we are all the same, sharing the same problem, needing the same saviour. Taking time to meditate on this does us good and forces us back to the point of humility before Christ, as it should.

It is also fuel for us in our partnership to reach out with good news of Jesus to East Asia’s peoples. Straight away we are forced to ask the question of ourselves, how am I doing in relating to people of other cultures that I work with/pray for? This is something that we always need to keep under close inspection as we can sadly be so easily influenced by media and trust in our own sinful conclusions about others. May we be people who partner well, always thinking the best of the other, not driving forward our own cultural prejudices.

Moving away from this personal question we can also see the importance of affirming and proclaiming this key truth in the public sphere. This is not simply a north American or western issue, it is global. Across East Asia many divisions exist finding their roots in a myriad of political movements, religious affiliations and cultural expressions. How wonderful would it be to see the people of God standing united, bringing reconciliation both now and for eternity. There is one race, one curse and one cure. Pray that as the good news takes root in many more lives and communities there would be a move from division to discipleship and animosity to reconciliation.

May Christ be made much of to the glory of the Father

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