If we are honest, the first thought that comes to our mind when we think about race and ethnicity isn’t usually celebratory, but rather fear and defensiveness.
We are afraid to engage because we have been torn apart racially. We are afraid to engage because we mostly see deep divisions and lives that have been devastated. And we are afraid and defensive because our history leaves us longing for a new story.
I’m only scratching the surface of our fear — there’s much more — but God has a word for us in regards to all these (and all other) fears: fear not.
And so, my hope for the next generation is that instead of fear, they’d face the topic of race and ethnicity with a posture of joy and celebration. But we don’t have to wait for the stories of the next generation to unfold. We have the opportunity to affect change now and to instill in our young people, as well as in our own hearts, God’s Word about the nations, which will lead to joy, gladness, and thanksgiving.
One of the most important reasons to recognize the precious colors of God’s creation in human beings is that He doesn’t erase these distinctions in Scripture. The oft-quoted passage in Revelation reveals to us that not only will there be many colors making up the nations of the world when Jesus returns, these tribes and tongues and nations will be worshipping together (Revelation 5:9; 7:9). This is a beautiful picture of the reconciliation work of the Lord — first in reconciling us to Himself, then in reconciling us to one another.
Heaven will be filled — gloriously! — with people of all colors.
And perhaps the best news for us today is that the gospel is for all nations! God celebrates His creation and the redemption of all people. The Bible tells us that we sinned greatly, putting everything out of order (Genesis 3). So throughout all of Scripture, God is working toward the redemption of all people through Christ (Galatians 3:8; Ephesians 2). And He will be glorified on that last day when all nations are worshipping together, because it will be a fulfillment of His promise to redeem every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Don’t these truths make your heart leap for joy? Let’s celebrate God’s creation! Like His glorious vision of the last day, let’s see the unique beauty of His created people. So instead of facing this topic of race and ethnicity with fear, let’s get to know one another. The pursuit of ethnic harmony will be hard, but it can be done.
When we celebrate our differences, we reflect what God has demonstrated in His Word. Our children are watching and learning from us, and they can grow to love the nations as we embrace our God-given differences.
My new children’s book is designed to help you teach your kids about God’s beautifully diverse church and ultimately the gospel. God’s Very Good Idea is an invitation to celebrate. This book will help children celebrate our wonderful Creator God, the amazing value God has given each person through being made in His image, and the rescuing work of Jesus on the cross.