By Susie Walther
The Kingdom of God is other-worldly, transcending Earth’s cultures, religions, ethnicities, races, and traditions. It’s not defined by any of those natural things and, instead, operates in and through and beyond and despite any of those things. The Church was brought into existence by the will of God as the spiritual organism for exalting Jesus and spreading His Kingdom on the earth.
The Church is made up of people called out of every culture, religion, ethnicity, race, and tradition to become one Family unified under one King who has given us a common Image and Mission defined by a common Book that tells us to take one Message to the world—the King and the Kingdom have come.
And right there is where things break down because we like our idea of “oneness” over God’s. Our idea of oneness is almost always sameness. God’s idea of oneness is unity. So, though we live in the most culturally diverse nation on the earth, our churches often don’t reflect that diversity as we still have white churches, black churches, Hispanic churches, Asian churches, etc. And instead of our denominations being representative of our diversity, they instead are often the reason for our divide.
If we’re not careful, we will let this separateness that we’re so comfortable with play out at the Well, too. We’ll be tempted to stick with what we know and who we know and sit with those who look like us. But we can break that mold and be to each other what this otherworldly Kingdom is all about! We can refuse to duplicate at the Well what we know is broken.
We can join the revolution Jesus started when He broke down the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile. The gaps between us will shorten as each of us continually and intentionally takes a step away from what’s comfortable and moves toward someone unfamiliar or just plain different from ourselves. That’s how a church, and that’s how a city, are won!