The “world’s” wisdom is to separate – to create boundaries between nations, races, genders, generations, sexualities and any other characteristic we can think of. But this is not the wisdom of Paul. It was Jesus’ confrontation of systems of oppression, inequality and exclusion that got him crucified. That’s why Paul says that the rulers of
this world cannot understand God’s plan – inclusivity and grace make no sense against the exclusive and meritocratic values upon which our world is built.
But, once we have been captured by Jesus’ vision of God’s Reign, once we have “bought in” to the quest for a more just, peaceful and equitable world, the sacrifice of Jesus makes the best sense. It stands to reason that, in order to confront the evil of human empire, Jesus would allow himself to be destroyed publicly by empire – and then would show that even death could not quench the power of love, grace, and justice.
Isaiah 64:4 is a prayer of confession in which the people acknowledge how they have failed to live by God’s values. Yet Paul reveals that in God’s Spirit, God has given us the power we need to live the Jesus way. Because of this, we have Christ’s mind, which means that we are able to live from Jesus’ gracious perspective and values.
The Bible is often used to justify exclusivity, but, when we listen to the whole Bible, and not just a few selected verses, we cannot help but see God’s inclusive grace shining through. Today, spend time reading as much of the Bible as you can, and allow its message of grace to touch your heart.
Give me the mind of Christ, O God, so that I may understand your gracious and loving mission.