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Beyond differences

Looking beyond our differences. 

Something to read

There is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

- Colossians 3:11 from full reading Colossians 3:1-11.

Something to think about

We humans have a strange habit of wanting to categorise ourselves. We like putting each other into boxes: age, race, sexuality, gender and so on… This passage from Colossians tells us that people 2,000 years ago had much same obsession with difference.

When we define ourselves in terms of what makes us different to others, it can lead to division, separation and mistrust. Paul challenges his readers to understand themselves differently. A new life in Christ means looking beyond our differences to a common identity in Jesus.

In her maiden speech in parliament, Jo Cox MP famously said: ‘We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us’. These are inspiring words, made all the more poignant by the tragic circumstances of her murder.

What a different place the world would be if we stopped categorising ourselves! If, instead of noticing difference, we learnt to see Christ in all the faces we meet. Inequality and discrimination occur when we believe we are different, sharing happens when we realise we are not.

Something to pray

God of all creation,
we pray for an end
to exclusion and discrimination
in all its forms.
Teach us to see Christ in all;
friend and stranger alike.
In Jesus’ name we pray,

Today’s contributor is Tim Burdon, Christian Aid’s Regional Coordinator for County Durham and Redcar and Cleveland at the time of writing.