After living abroad for more than a year, one slowly starts to integrate into local society. Despite language barriers, within a year many of the transitions and challenges of being “new” are established: employment, housing, internet connections, getting a car, navigating driving routes, meeting new colleagues and friends, locating grocery shops and soon a regular hair salon and dentist. One starts to feel comfortable, almost fitting in, using the subjunctive in daily conversation. Yet, fitting in is illusory, as height, hair colour, eye colour, or underlying world views, politics and belief systems all reveal differences.
St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, reminds the church that while there are differences among believers, particularly because of circumcision and social status, these distinctions are not important to God. They do not influence the greatness of God’s grace because God’s grace and love are for all. In God’s eyes there is no distinction.
We want the kind of difference that will secure a special place with you, O God. Instead, you bestow your love and grace to all. Remind us that despite whatever differences and distinctions there are between us, all are loved equally. Help us to treat one another with this same grace. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen. — FS