Leroy Barber, Embrace
Brian McLaren, Why Don’t They Get It?
We were made to be together, and that’s by God’s design. It’s clear that we are relational beings. Our innate need for community enriches our lives, and being part of a supportive community brings numerous benefits. Human flourishing requires that we establish, mend, and maintain relationships with other people. Jesus exemplified and taught that those loving relationships ought to cross culture’s artificial boundaries of politics, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and socioeconomic status. Establishing genuine, sustained connections with diverse individuals helps challenge and dispel prejudices and false assumptions. Jesus doesn’t dominate the other, avoid the other, colonize the other, intimidate the other, demonize the other, or marginalize the other. Instead, Jesus incarnates into the other, joins the other in solidarity, protects the other, listens to the other, serves the other, and even lays down his life for the other. Let’s aspire to view one another through the lens of God’s unconditional love, transcending biases. In God’s eyes, each and every person is a bearer of God’s image. As ambassadors for the kingdom of God, we need to begin to see others as people in need of the same divine love, mercy, and grace that has been extended to us.