*Brian Wilcox. 'Yellow Bearded Iris ~ A Close-Up'
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An ancient wisdom book, James, addressed bias in the Christian community. This preferential treatment had crept into the church, contradicting the inclusiveness Jesus of Nazareth taught and lived.
My brothers and sisters, don't hold your trust in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with favoritism. For if someone enters into your gathering in expensive clothing and a gold ring on the finger, and a poor person in filthy clothing also enters, and you look favorably on the one wearing the costly clothing and say, "Be seated here in a good place," and to the poor person you say, "You stand or be seated there by my feet," have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Nonetheless, if you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are behaving well. However, if you show favoritism, you commit sin, and you are convicted by the law as offenders.
*James 2.1-4, 8-9
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I was the campus building and grounds inspector when a seminarian. I walked up some stairs to inspect a room. For the first time in life, I read three capital letters, silver metal and capitalized, on the door: VIP. I wondered what VIP meant. The letters seemed to call attention to themselves, indicating something unusual, for none of the other doors had the letters.
I inspected the room, then went downstairs to find out what VIP meant. I was informed: Very Important Person. I had been introduced to the VIP world. And I, along with those like I am, did not belong to this other world. We would never be included in it.
The acronym did not make sense to me, especially since the school was a Christian campus. I had assumed we would not see anyone as more important than another. I had heard all my life of God's unconditional love, of how Jesus identified with the not-important, not the VIP group. In fact, the VIP world executed him. I had been sharing this Good News for over a decade; immediately, I knew VIP was not Good News. Thirty years later, VIP still makes no sense to me - I hope it never does.
I could be accused of being too particular here, picky about language. But language shapes how we see others. There is a world of difference between these two: "She's a very important person," and "She holds a very important position." Some persons hold a very important position. Yet, no person is very important, that is unless we are all very important. Likewise, we could contend that any work one does to better our world is very important, from low-paying to high-paying, from well-known to unknown.
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oneness is not apartness
is a togetherness
we do not become oneness
we are oneness becoming