On a Sunday when we are celebrating Christian baptism, we might be tempted to ask “who can belong to the Kingdom where Christ reigns?”
God’s answer: All are welcomed, by the grace of God! Those who swagger into his presence, brimming with pride of self-accomplishment, and those who stagger under the weightof guilt and frustration over continual failing (despite the best of intentions). Those who are absolutely certain they “belong” and they “deserve,” and those who see themselves as lifelong
outsiders…who’ve constantly been asked to surrender their very sense of identity if they ever wanted to be included.
Ever since God toppled the tower of Babel and scattered the nations, humans have viewed our many differences through suspicious and uncertain eyes. Great wars and injustice and oppression have occurred - even geneocide - because we viewed our diversity as a curse. But Christ reveals the story of how a curse is turned into a blessing. Christ assumed all that divided us and carried it to the cross on our behalf. In place of our old lives, he gives us a new fellowship that transcends our divisions. Though our past are varied and strange to one another, in Christ we are all equal; equal in sharing full participation in the community of Christ and equal in receiving the life and
power of Jesus.
We are equal, but not the same.