Galatians 3.28 NIV
I love this verse. It awakens in me a beautiful image of countless multitudes of people in a bright and sunny place happily gazing skyward, enjoying the light of God’s approval, in harmony with each other and sharing this understanding in common... all humans are created equal in the sight of God.
Their focus is toward God and their interaction with each other is almost incidental. Although the people are crowded together, everyone is kind and caring. There is no pushing or shoving to get to the front, no jockeying for position, no fighting for a better seat. There is no front of the line, no position better than another, and no best seats in the house. Everyone is overjoyed to be there together and genuinely thrilled (though somewhat surprised) to see others they know.
Every type of person you can imagine is there! Young and old. Black and yellow, red, brown, and white. Men, women, boys, girls, and babies. Asians, Africans, Americans, Europeans, Middle Easterners, both Near and Far ones. No one looks the same. There are tall, short, heavy and light people, muscular and scrawny, handsome, tattooed and pierced, beautiful, homely, even ugly and disfigured. Most appear healthy, others are are bent over and limping, but strong nonetheless. Some are even in wheelchairs or on beds, but without pain. Their clothing is diverse reflecting social status, place of origin, or taste in music. Scanning the horizon I see baseball caps, cowboy hats, and turbans. I see gray hair, long hair, colored hair, and no hair.
The variety is as amusing as it is amazing. Every person is so very unique, every single one of them. Some are wealthy, some poor, most somewhere in the middle. Everyone is well fed and fully satisfied. No one, not even the children, need to go potty or get something to eat. Everyone is happy and anticipating a glorious unfolding of God’s best for the remainder of their eternal lives. To the person, each one is celebrating the presence of God and the absolute diversity of humankind with a wonder and joy far surpassing that of children on their first trip to Disneyland.
Nothing like this has ever occurred in the history of the world. It is an other-worldly image. It’s not yet happening on the earth as we know it. It’s a harmonious gathering of contented Christ-followers from every denomination, culture, country, and era celebrating their equality in Christ. It’s a vision of heaven or a new earth where there is “neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female” and all are “one in Christ Jesus”.
The image at the top of this post is entitled "Black Sheep" by popular United Kingdom artist James Marsh (1946- ). He is known for his illustrations, design-commercial art, and abstract painting. For more biographical information, go to "Ask Art" at http://www.askart.com/AskART/artists/biography.aspx?artist=127665.