Christ is the one who breaks down barriers (Ephesians 2:14), reconciling persons of all kinds, so that none are “strangers and aliens” (Ephesians 2:19).
It is a sad fact that, even though the world is shrinking and we have possibilities of communication like never before, the world is fragmented into so many different groups and camps. The church can model the barrier-free life that Christ has brought.
That is so on a global scale. It is also the case in the congregation. We are all family, and no one is to be treated as a stranger or alien. Differences in race, class, gender, economic condition, politics, and opinion exist, but they are not barriers to living in unity in Christ. The congregation is a laboratory for the kingdom of God.
The congregation as laboratory for the kingdom can also be a witness to the wider, secular society. Differences among persons exist, but community is possible when dividing walls, based on hostility, are broken down. The bonds of a common humanity tie us together for the good of all.
Arland J. Hultgren