In Christ There Is No East or West (ELW 650, Verses 3-4)
3 Join hands, disciples of the faith,
whate’er your race may be.
All children of the living God
are surely kin to me.
4 In Christ now meet both east and west,
in him meet south and north;
all Christly souls are one in him
throughout the whole wide earth.
The term “disciples of the faith” means that we continue to be students, learning and growing throughout our lives. Many of us grew up in isolated situations where stereotypes ruled the day. Perhaps we did not have the experience of knowing people of different races, which made us more afraid than accepting of them. Acceptance is not possible without help from Jesus who has brought together east and west; south and north. The inclusiveness of Christ’s mission points to God’s desire for all of us to be gathered. Being gathered is not always easy. It requires us to let go of some of the things we have been taught and to be ready to learn a new way of living that celebrates our kinship with “the whole wide earth.”
God of connection, reveal the things that unite us so we may become better disciples of faith. Open our hearts to those we have ignored or dismissed, and enable us to be life-long learners. Amen.