The Beggars Blog is a network of Lutheran pastors Commenting on the intersection between theology and everything.

The Bride of Christ is Beautiful

The Bride of Christ is Beautiful

One of the most beautiful things about the bride of Christ is that she doesn't look like me. She is a beautiful unity woven together by God from a beautiful diversity of people who do not look the same.

I do not imagine Jesus as a blond-haired, blue-eyed Scandinavian male model. I envision him in my mind as a dark-skinned peasant with dirt under his fingernails and hands worn with callouses from manual labor. Whatever Jesus looked like during his time on earth, I know for sure he did not look like me.

I've been to Mexico and met believers with whom I could barely communicate an intelligible sentence (I was operating at high school level "me gustan tacos" Spanish at that time). And yet, despite the language and culture barrier, I felt a closeness stronger than blood because of our common faith in Christ.

I've been to Africa where the skin of brothers and sisters in Christ was so dark that I noticed how pale I am. As we shared meals together and gathered in a circle to pray and sing, I felt like I saw the sights and heard the sounds of heaven.

The hatred on display in Charlottesville is a picture of what hell looks like. It is anti-Christ, anti-church, and anti-human. You can't read the New Testament without missing the deep themes of reconciliation, Gods' love in Christ for all people, and the unity of the body of Christ built with the bricks of many cultures, nations, and languages. The coming together of people once hostile and suspicious of one another into the single family of God is a beautiful thread woven into the Gospels and Epistles.

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... (Revelation 7:9)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus... (Galatians 3:28)

For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God... (Ephesians 2:19-20).

May it be that the church of Jesus Christ boasts all the more of its diversity - louder than the voices of those who boast in hate.

Pastor John Rasmussen - Our Savior Lutheran Church - South Windsor, CT

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