I have had the opportunity to work with and minister to three multi-racial (or multi-cultural) churches. I am a firm believer that God never intended that only one race to be reached with the gospel. God gave His Son (Jesus) to die for all people. God choose one nation (Israel) to bring about redemption for all people. 2 Peter 3:9b states, He [God] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. God longs for all of His creation to turn to Him, be saved and know their Creator intimately, to advance His kingdom on this earth and spend all of eternity with Him. God does not choose one, and rejects another. Every human being –no matter what race we come from- is loved by God and His Son Jesus Christ.
After what happened last month in Charlottesville, VA, my heart hurt with hatred shown by one group toward another group. My heart rejoiced when I saw images of the love in Houston after the hurricane hit; neighbor helping neighbor no matter the skin color. Jesus created a mosaic image when He gave His life for His people. While thinking about the last month and praying for our country, I remembered something that happened at one of the churches I worked with.
On a Sunday in 2012, the church had a ministry luncheon and meeting. The main reason for the meeting was so the new lead pastor could share his thoughts of the merging of our two churches (Common Ground Community Church and Soul Central Church) and for me (as Executive Pastor) to explain the structure of the ministries of our new body. After we spoke, the ministry groups break out into their teams so they could get to know one another and for the minister coordinators to share their thoughts. I stood watching two churches becoming one body and one word popped in my head; Mosaic. Common Ground was mainly white with some African-American, Latin, and Asian people. Soul Central Church was all African-American with the desire to reach all of Portsmouth with no regard of race. God put us together and we were going forward hand-in-hand to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
The mosaic thought, I know, is because we are taking different people – not only by skin color, but background, education, etc. – and creating a family. By definition, mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials (From Wikipedia). An artist will take broken colored items and arrange them in a way to create a picture.
You see, all humans are broken image bearers of God. When God created Adam, he was the image bearer of God. When Adam sinned, that image became broken due to sin. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the sin-debt for man so we can be rejoined with God. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God takes the brokenness we are and puts the pieces back together so we become true image bearers of Him.
Our local church was brought together by the will of God for His purpose. The Holy Spirit brought us together. We have all the races under one roof and God has placed the right pieces in the right places to form this beautiful picture of what heaven will be like; all people groups worshiping and praising God side-by-side. When an artist takes the different tinted pieces and creates a picture, he uses a bonding agent so the pieces will stick together. The multiple pieces become one piece when the bonding agent is dry. The church’s bonding agent is love; the love that God has for His people, the love we have for Him, and the love we have for one another.
God’s people are His mosaic masterpiec