If you’re like any normal human being, you tend to make friends with people who are just like you. You likely spend your time with men and women who vote the same, dress the same, and have the same opinion about “Guaranteed Rate Field.” (the new name of the ballpark where the Chicago White Sox play!) Outside of your family, think about the people you’ve spent the most time with over the last few weeks. Did you have much in common, or were they very different from you?
The beautiful thing about God’s family is that it is full of people who aren’t like us. We’re men and women who disagree on just about everything but Jesus. We vote differently, dress differently, and have grown up in many different places. When we read the Bible, especially Matthew 28:16-20, we recognize that this is what God desires. He wants “all nations” to find unity in Jesus despite their lack of uniformity.
Our challenge comes, however, when we start asking “how?” How does God’s family become the place where different people can find community with one another? How do followers of Jesus create the kind of environment where people look past their differences?
The answer is found in the first word of verse 19: “Go.” Unity in our world requires people to act in a way that doesn’t come naturally. Remember, our tendency is to surround ourselves with like-minded people. But Jesus calls us to leave our comfort zones and connect with people who look different, have different beliefs, and might even have a different ethnicity. That’s how God’s family grows and fills up with individuals who don’t look uniform but instead unite around Jesus.
How will you “go” and get to know someone new this week? How will you look past differences to seek unity in your neighborhood?