But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary[a] and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 9:36
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. Revelation 7:9
Can I be honest? My heart is broken for the racial divides in the US these days. I never thought I would see the day where this type of chaos and division would happen. I don’t want to seem insensitive to the pain that has been beneath the surface for generations.
I have lived in Uganda for a long time now. My husband and son are Ugandan. My colleagues, my students and mentors alike here are Ugandan. I am definitely far removed from the streets of the US. So please don’t take this as insensitive. Please take this as what it is meant to be - a cry for unity in the Body of Christ from a fellow sojourner who desires to spread God’s heart of love to the nations (starting with this corner of East Africa where He has placed me).
I know the heart of man has always been sinful. People tend to put one group above another (namely, their own.) This breaks the heart of God. The same thing is happening in Uganda between tribes, and even more so in South Sudan, causing so many innocent people to be displaced and lose their lives. What I see with my eyes is just a microcosm of a global pandemic of sin and selfishness. It is what you also witness in the US.
It should not be so in the Body of Christ.
To God all people matter, no matter where they come from or what they look like. No matter how badly they’ve sinned or how lost they are.
When Jesus walked this earth, people mattered to Him. All people. He allowed Himself to be interrupted as He traveled, ate, taught and so on. He dined with the lower and upper echelon alike. He touched people, accepted people from different tribes and places (despite cultural norms), and saved all who would call upon Him.
I have seen God tear down tribal barriers here, and it is beautiful to behold. I have watched people from different places with different shades of skin, both created in God’s image, understand that the other is valuable and cared for. How this blesses the heart of God!
In most of the places where we minister in the villages in Kitgum, the churches meet under mango trees or makeshift shelters. Oftentimes there is no building, but the people understand that they ARE the Church.
What about you?
I challenge you to step outside of the four walls of that structure you call your church, and BE the Church by reaching out, letting go of your cultural biases, and embrace those who are different and hurting. Their lives matter to God just as much as yours. (And yours matters more than you can ever fully comprehend!)