"God shows no partiality." (Galatians 2:6, RSV)
Riding my bicycle in windy West Texas I have learned that when the wind is at my back I hardly notice it. I speed along as if my legs were powerful pistons. Yet, when the wind is blowing in my face I have to strain to keep the bike moving, and my chicken legs seem barely adequate to the task.
That's the way life is with the in-crowd and the out-crowd. The in-crowd blithely goes its way, attributing its success to personal achievement or divine blessing. The out-crowd struggles against unfavorable odds and wonders if God really cares.
Jews were the in-crowd in Paul's religious world, non-Jews the out. In Galatians, Paul is saying that the wind has changed. A new wind is blowing, called "Freedom in Christ." And it blows at the backs of every one who accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Jew and Gentile, male and female, rich and poor, white and black, Serb and Albanian, the good news about freedom in Christ is for everyone. God accepts us all by grace through faith. Would that we all could imitate God's saving goodness by showing no partiality.
Lord, help us to be kind to one another while recognizing that our righteousness comes from You alone and not from our own merit. In Jesus' name. Amen.
- JOHN H. WILLIAMS, Abilene, Texas