We live in a pretty separated world.
I don’t think it happened on purpose, but it just so happens that most people like people like them. I don’t think that’s a bad thing necessarily, but the problem is that it grows over the years, decades, and millennia until humanity looks like segmented and broken tribes of people who can’t relate and don’t care about each other.
I think this is the opposite of reconciliation. the natural trend in all of us is to move from a life that looks like a vibrant world of different colors and textures to a life that looks just like us. Our lives can easily become filled with one voice that sounds like us, one look that dresses like us, and one opinion that thinks like us. Not only is this a boring way to live, I actually think it could possibly be counter to the Gospel. Jesus modeled a life that is meant to–as Paul describes it–reconciles everything back to the life as it is meant to be. This doesn’t mean homogenizing so that it all sounds the same. But it means reconnecting everything to the same life-source, putting everything into the family.
If you take the whole narrative of the Bible, from start to finish, this is the trajectory of our world: Christ in all and through all, reconciling all things to himself. He is putting us, them, and everyone back together. As people who are tasked with bringing to life this power of reconciliation that is alive inside of every one of us, our lives should begin to look a bit more diverse, not less. As it just so happens, Jesus somehow managed to like people who weren’t anything like him. And people who weren’t like Jesus, liked Jesus. He constantly created connections where the religious were trying to put up walls.
Though we tend to separate and divide, I don’t think it’s the direction of the world as a whole. God is about reconciling. And it’s the trajectory He has put us on. Some of us just fight it more than others. Nonetheless, it is getting better. It may not look like it at times. But it is. I believe it. (Maybe that’s Faith talking)
*** Inspiration from Colossians 3, Luke 19, Revelation 22, and the “Grey Town” from CS Lewis’ The Great Divorce ***