When Muslims go on the hajj (one of the five pillars of Islam, a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca), they dress all in white from head to toe. As millions from around the world carry out their rituals together, no one knows who is a king or who is a pauper. They are all dressed alike. No one is treated better than another.
I was reminded of that practice recently when our church conducted some focus groups. The purpose was to evaluate our communication, improve our connections, and enhance our outreach. One of the focus groups consisted of new members. It was an energetic group of women who are still getting to know our church, and, that day, had the opportunity to get to know each other.
As the session concluded, one woman made a comment that made me realize our church is becoming what I had once hoped it could become. She said, “At our church you don’t know who lives in a mansion and who lives in a tent.” The consultant who had asked the question was duly impressed.
In fact, sitting around that table were almost literally those who live in “mansions” and those who live in “tents.” It’s a wonderful statement about the family of God. It’s a great picture of the level ground in the Kingdom of God.
St. Paul said, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). We don’t have to walk around all wearing white robes. We know that all sinners brought to faith in Christ are one with God and one with each other.
Through faith in Christ we figuratively wear the white robes of His righteousness. We have been made clean, brought to salvation, given eternal life…and it matters not where we live. In the end, we are living under the tent of God’s love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
Where have you seen evidence of Christian unity?