Getting along at st Johns Presbyterian ChurchI recently heard a story that dates back to the 1960s. A first grader went on her first day to a newly integrated school in the south at the height of the desegregation storm. An anxious mother met her at the door to inquire “How did everything go, honey?” “Oh, mother, you know what? A little black girl sat next to me.” Her mother knew this was a new experience for the child and didn’t know how she should respond to it. Finally, she said, “Well, what happened?” And the little girl answered, “Oh, Mommy, we were both so scared that we held hands all day.”

In an attempt to describe God’s coming redemption and healing, the prophet Isaiah wrote, “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.”

What a beautiful picture of reconciliation.

In our own day and age, we have come a long way in our understanding of how God has created all of us, as the larger family of God.

In the book of Revelation, John sees a glimpse of heaven. In heaven the elders and celestial beings sing a new song to the Lord:

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

Let us pray: We thank you, O God, for your sacrifice. Thank you for redeeming us, and including us, and calling us to be a part of your family here on earth. We thank you for the healing and reconciliation that are going on even now. We want to be a part of it, so we pray that you would continue to work your healing grace in us and through us. May we be instruments of your grace as members of your family now – and in the life to come. Amen.