“We become not a melting pot, but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.“
-President Jimmy Carter
Yesterday, I had the privilege of leading worship for Mosaix Cincinnati’s regional 1 New Humanity Conference. A MOSAIC is a picture produced by arranging together small colored pieces of material into a colorful and variegated pattern. A few hundred regional leaders and speakers from across the nation gathered to learn about and affirm God’s heart for ALL people, and coming together for His purposes. Specifically on our radar is the issue of ‘Segregated Sunday,’ The Mosaix Global Network was formed to create multi-ethnic churches and transition homogeneous churches to become diverse. Currently, 86.3% of US churches are mono-ethnic – they have less than 20% of another ethnicity. In the US, people worship with people who look, sound, act and have similar demographics, even when neighborhoods are diverse. Mosaix believes we are better together. It can be a hard sell.
In John’s heavenly vision (Rev. 5:9), he cites that before the throne worshiping Jesus, the Lamb of God, the 24 elders sang: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God, persons from every tribe and language
and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on the earth.” Scholars believe that the scroll contained the purposes of God to be revealed, or the title deed to redeemed man’s inheritance. In the New Testament Church’s beginnings, the big announcement outside of the fact that Jesus was LORD and Christ, was that God intended not just the Jews but the Gentiles to become heirs of His salvation. He wanted to put away the dividing wall of hostility and create 1 New Humanity (Eph 2:15). We should be GLAD because if not, almost all of us would be on the outs.
New Jewish Christians, including Peter struggled with engrafting in these Gentile ‘others.’ Everyone wants to be the ‘in crowd.’ We love being on top: the most popular, richest, most beautiful and in spiritual terms, the most favored. The sons of Zebedee had their mother ask if they could sit on Jesus’ right and left hand in His throne of glory. (Matthew 20) The disciples wanted to know who would be the greatest in the Kingdom. They were stunned with the answer that it would a child-like person, one willing to be the least. (Luke 9) The US has taken meritocracy, greed and a desire for sameness to new levels. The way we evaluate the ‘success’ of Christian leaders is based on Western and capitalist standards. Instead of the strong bearing the infirmities of the weak and not pleasing themselves (Rom. 15:1); the strong just make themselves stronger and ignore the weak. Sometimes they just give them handouts, but don’t welcome them in the fold. Because of rejection, racism, language, and economics, we have: ‘The Black Church,’ ‘The Latino Church,’ ‘The Chinese Church,’ and predominantly Caucasian churches. Parts of the Body of Christ are saying to other parts, “I have no need of you.” This totally contradicts Scripture in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, which emphatically states that WE ARE ONE BODY IN CHRIST. We need more practice preparing for God’s throne…there’s gonna be a heavenly MOSAIC there.