By Stephen Leonard
“For God shows no partiality.” Romans 2:11
Cinco de Mayo is today, May 5th, and largely a Mexican-American holiday. No matter what you think of it, I rather think it serves to remind us who we are as a nation, a people. America is one of the most diverse countries and becoming even more diverse every year. It now ranks among the most diverse in the world, primarily because of its immigration history, legal and not. It is a melting pot of peoples.
America may well remind us of heaven. Certainly not in its spiritual perfection or moral consistency, but in its diversity of races in the creative image of God represented in all humanity. Humanity is made up of all colors. It is a kaleidoscope of languages, skin color, and shapes of eyes and faces; it is a diverse mixture of people, which makes one wonder what Adam and Eve looked like, or even Noah’s family? The one commonality is that they are human.
God made the multi-hued Rainbow. He made the incredible complexity of flowers, plants, birds, and animals. And He made all the peoples of the world. And every one of those people of all history has the exact same blood. There is no diversity in the blood, other than Blood Types. We are all of the same. No one is a diminished form of human. There are no partial humans; even the mentally unhealthy or physically handicapped are created in the image of the One True God. Every one!
The Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God is no respecter of persons; He has no favorites as to race or visage or size or physical makeup. God always looks on the heart!
Considering the truth of all this, what kind of people ought we to be? Well, we ought to seriously consider each one of our neighbors in the world as a candidate to be a sister or brother in Christ. From our perspective, it is always “whosoever will, may come!” From God’s perspective, He knows those who are His. The point is, we do not! The commission from God to us is clear! “Love your neighbor as yourself!” They may end up being your sister or brother.
And who is our neighbor? Jesus answered that question with His parable in Luke 10:25-37. Who is the one of the three candidates who proved to be a neighbor to the one who was hurt and in need? “The one who showed him mercy!” We are commanded to show mercy to everyone who is in need, regardless of their race or position.
There are many contingencies to consider about this commandment in a fallen world. But God, nevertheless, makes His command to us very simple. “Love your neighbor as yourself!” Each of us must work that out for ourselves in light of God’s eyes upon us. Eyes of mercy and compassion, certainly, but also eyes with God’s expressed purpose for us to reflect the righteousness and love of His Son Jesus to others. Your one goal in life is to imitate Him.
“When shall we know thee as we ought, and fear, and love, and serve aright! When shall we, out of trial brought, be perfect in the land of light! Lord, may we day by day prepare to see thy face and serve thee there.”
(5th verse of Thomas Pollock’s hymn, “We Have Not Known Thee As We Ought,” 1889)