God's Colorful Kingdom | James 2

Welcome to Real Life. What color is your favorite?
I'm asking you not to be color blind,
but to be color brave.
-Mellody Hobson
I love green. But if the sky, clouds, and everything was green, I’d soon tire of it. Wouldn’t you? Green's beauty is best appreciated in contrast with other colors.





What if every person looked exactly alike? Boring! Instead, God created us in a variety of sizes, shapes, and shades. We are male and female, tall and short, rich and poor. We speak six thousand languages.[1] We worship in silent meditation and shouts of “Hallelujah!” We are athletes, engineers, mothers, soldiers, and artisans. This is the colorful world God created.

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth,”[2]  we pray in the Lord’s Prayer. When we pray this, let’s be mindful of the wonderful diversity inherent in God’s kingdom, his family. In some families, siblings resemble each other so closely it's easy to see they're related. But in other families, siblings differ so vastly in appearance and personality we’re surprised they were born of the same parents. Each one of us is a daughter or son of our Father in heaven. He created each of us uniquely. Yet, we all bear our Father's image. And he loves us equally–every size, shape, and shade.

Our Father wants us to love equally, too. “Show no partiality,”[3] he tells us in the book of James. It’s easier said than done. We tend to feel more comfortable with those who look and act like us. Often we show partiality, avoiding and excluding those who are different, without realizing it. Yet, it is through relationships with those who look, think, and act differently that our knowledge and understanding grows, our hearts and minds expand, our world transforms from green to a rainbow of color!

Because we're drawn to those like us, let's be intentional about embracing those who are different. Prayerfully consider. Who am I excluding? Expanding our vision can be as simple as opening our eyes in our neighborhoods, to extended family, on the job, or at church. Sometimes taking a class, volunteering in another community, or embarking on a mission trip provides opportunities to build cross-cultural relationships.

We’ll spend eternity together in God’s colorful kingdom. When we celebrate diversity today, our hearts reflect our Father's heart. Our prayer is answered. His kingdom will come and his will is done on earth as in heaven. Green is a beautiful color. But equally beautiful are chestnut, violet, scarlet, sky blue, wisteria, melon, peach, cerulean, apricot, gray, indigo...




After this I looked, and behold,
a great multitude that no one could number,
from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb,
clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
and crying out with a loud voice,
“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
Revelation 7:9-10 ESV

Dear Father,
May your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Where do we show partiality?
Who do we exclude? Place their faces in our minds.
Help us embrace them in thought and prayer before speaking a word.
May we, the body of Christ, love each other well.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Take it further...

[1] https://www.infoplease.com/askeds/how-many-spoken-languages
[2] Matthew 6:10
[3] James 2:1-13
Images: Lake Tahoe and crayon box by Peggi Tustan. 

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Michelle, I'm glad. I can't wait until we see God's colorful kingdom perfectly fulfilled in heaven! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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