Yesterday I wrote a few on-the-fly thoughts after reading Trillia Newbell’s new book United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity. There’s no doubt that the race (or ethnicity, for those in the “erace ourselves” camp) issue is complicated and multi-faceted. While my post yesterday expressed gratitude for progress in the conversation/application in the Reformed world, I also expressed a desire to see more, especially by and for Asian Americans. The thoughts expressed yesterday were from the perspective of salient feelings of being a minority and being different from everyone else. But even as I hit “publish”, I felt uncomfortable about leaving it there. Because as a Christian, what I have in common with my white evangelical brothers and sisters is much more significant than the differences. And as a Calvinist, the precious doctrinal truths I hold in common with my white Reformed brethren fosters a sense of unity that almost always trumps feelings of lack of belonging.
When I gather in worship with fellow believers, each one made in the imago dei and redeemed by the blood of the lamb, everything else moves to the background as we together with one heart and one voice proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Whether I am the only non-anglo or whether there is a diversity of ethnicities, I am in a gathering of one chosen race, one royal priesthood, one holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). And while in Reformed circles my ethnic “otherness” is almost always more stark, most of the time it doesn’t bother me because I am so overjoyed to be amongst people who cherish the same God-glorifying doctrines, love the same books, utilize the same jargon; most of the time it does indeed feel like family and I do feel like I belong.
In our pursuit of God-glorifying, Church-edifying diversity that foreshadows the age to come when every nation, tribe, and tongue worships together before the throne, let’s not forget that we are all wonderfully the same. Many ethnicities, but one chosen race. With a citizenship in heaven, from which we await our Savior.