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Galatians 3:28. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
I love this section of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. It’s a stunning reminder that all our human-made differences are obliterated by Jesus. These days we’d add liberal or conservative, straight or gay, rich or poor. But when we are together in Christ, our perceived divisions melt away.
Many of us will go to church this evening for Christmas Eve. And there we will experience another great divide, at least in our churches. I think Saint Paul would remind us that both lifelong members and first-time or seasonal attendees are one in Christ. The latter are not guests in our church, but rather we are all one as we celebrate Christ’s birth.
Maybe if the person who has come to church with great trepidation receives the same welcome as the lifelong member, some grace will happen all around. And that would be a profound Christmas gift for everyone.