This is also the only thing that I've found that can overcome the ugliness, the racism that blows through the world like a hurricane. Nothing brings hope like God's promise. Nothing else will convince you to love your neighbor unless you believe they have the same birthright - the same royal blood - that gives you a claim to inherit a kingdom in this world and in eternity.
I wrote this for our board meeting in the wake of our country's latest racist hurricane that left carnage and wreckage to sort through. I was inspired after reading this article that Tim Keller wrote.
24The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28for
"'In him we live and move and have our being';
as even some of your own poets have said,
"'For we are indeed his offspring.'
29Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."
"...does not live in temples made by man..."
Statues, buildings, flags – these are not the dwelling place of God. These are of the world, and thus should not be worshipped. These can crumble, or they can remain. These things are but dust, and shall return to dust as sin permeates all they are and will force them to decay one way or another.
"...all mankind life and breath and everything..."
We are equal. Equally created and equally sustained by the creator. God shows no favoritism in that he equally gives life and breath to all humankind.
"...from one man every nation..."
We all came from the same origin. We are truly brothers and sisters. Although we look different, we share the same DNA. The genetic difference in humans is miniscule - .1% on average. We fight about the differences that are on the surface, because we’re all quite literally made the same.
"...we are indeed his offspring..."
We are all sons and daughters of the King, the only true King, and therefore share ROYAL BLOOD! We are heirs to the kingdom! Our birthright, our inheritance, is heaven! But we can sell our birthright for a cup of soup. We can trade our royal name for membership in other groups that mostly accomplish in dividing us while disguising it as unity. The groups only unify the sub group and paint us into corners. These sub groups only water down your ultimate identity as royalty, and leave us longing to claim our rightful place in the kingdom. Do we treat one another like fellow heirs? Are we respectful of all that share our royal lineage?
"...he will judge the world..."
Take a sigh of relief because you don’t have to be a judge! You may feel true rest and accomplish true rest, because your judge is merciful and just. Your judge doesn’t Tweet, or hold press conferences, or follow the wave of popular culture…. He doesn’t even watch the news (fake or not)! He judges with complete and accurate information only. He treats all as equal kingdom citizens, and equally grants all the ability to overcome death if they follow his simple laws: love God and love your neighbor. What a ridiculous promise from our judge!