God's Kingdom without Borders

The Vine Institute

God's Kingdom without Borders

CITIZENS WITHOUT BORDERS

Is your ethnic culture isolated or integrated? (Yes, even if in the majority/Anglo culture!) If those options aren’t enough, how would you describe your culture’s experience of relating to other cultures in your social demographic?

Various experiences have brought this to mind for me. The phrase “invisible minority”–used to describe Asian Americans–has circulated in American journalism for at least a couple decades; I recall a multi-ethnic conference in which an Asian American Christian speaker reminded us of this perception with some pain. These people don’t create a stir or make waves or negative headlines generally, so the rest of us ignore them, leaving them off to the side–or “walking by on the other side” when they’re in a crisis. One of the emerging pastoral leaders of a local Tongan community told us who serve on The Vine Institute team that he’s grateful for our multicultural celebration/worship events because it helps their community get out of their isolation; otherwise, normally Tongans only relate to other Tongans (the upside being a strong practice of community). One more item: on an almost daily basis, I have a nagging discontent in myself over not knowing more Spanish. As in many places of the American southwest, Hispanic peoples swarm all about us in Salt Lake City, cleaning our hotel rooms and serving us across fast food counters or at those wonderful street taco stands. I find myself aching to befriend them in their heart language–to notice, engage, connect and somehow love these neighbors as well as those we know as “our kind.”

Perhaps this seems a disquieting reality if we feel we’re too isolated, individually or as churches; perhaps, though, the disquiet is necessary to God’s kingdom agenda as He builds His all-nations family. There’s my take. What’s yours?

David Livingstone Rowe

Posted in Multicultural on 20 August 2012

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