There’s so much divisiveness in the world today, democrat-republican; gay-straight; mainland Chinese-Taiwanese; Christian-Muslim; male-female, husband-wife, family squabbles. All this leads to hopelessness in so many ways. We may ask ourselves: Where’s the world headed? Why are things this way?
The Lord wants to restore us in many specific areas, and as a whole, humanity itself. The oneness of all people. All God’s created human beings
In Romans 15 Paul reflects on all of scripture, the story of God’s plan for restoration and reconciliation of people to him and us to one another, that: “through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (vs 4).
In versus 5 and 6 he writes that it’s God who gives us this endurance and encouragement. He gives us a “spirit of unity” among us as believers to “accept one another as Christ has accepted you”. Then in versus 8 and 9 he broadens the charge to accept one another to include Gentiles by confirming the promises made to the patriarchs “so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy”.
He quotes the inclusion of Gentiles from Psalms, Deuteronomy, Isaiah; poetry, the Torah, the Prophets emphasizing that his purposes include all the peoples of the earth. There are no outsiders.
The result is that: “the God of hope” will fill us with “joy and peace” as we put our “trust in him” (vs 13). The result? We will now “overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.
Note that this is not uniformity. No, God made us all different with Jews and Gentiles being the biggest difference between insiders and outsiders. In these passages he also refers to “peoples”, and “nations” which includes races and people groups.
Our hope for unity and peace between us, with our differences, is in our God who gives us endurance and encouragement and the Holy Spirit to power us through, to work for, and see, restored relationships with one another. To be one again.