Estes Echo

A Melting Pot

This expression has been used for a number of years to describe the United States. The term actually comes from title of 1914 play by that name which suggested that ours was becoming a superior society due to blending all of the best of other cultures which were finding their way to America at that time. Debate continues as to whether this is really happening at all and whether we should embrace it or try to limit it. Of course, the New Testament was written a long time before North America was “discovered,” yet it seems to describe a “melting pot.” Paul wrote these words to the Galatians:

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (3:27-28).

This passage describes a true “melting pot.” As we are connected with Christ in baptism, we are also connected with each other in a way that should erase distinctions and bring out the best in us all. God is no “respecter of persons,” and neither should we be. He has called us together without regard to age, race, nationality, gender, socioeconomic status, or religious background. Jesus prayed that we might “be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21).

It is easy for us to become comfortable with certain relationships within the church without opening ourselves up to greater sense of community. What new opportunities might there be to “be one?” Here are some possibilities:

  • Adopt a college student (there doesn’t have to be a formal program!).
  • Speak to a stranger at church (almost all your friends were once strangers!).
  • Invite a family you don’t know well to join yours for a meal.
  • Ask someone to tell you his or her “spiritual story” and share yours.

“Melting” distinctions and coming together is something God wants for us. Let’s look for ways to create a community of oneness.

–Mark Blackwelder