Based on Galatians 3:26-28
I had the recent pleasure of seeing Vice-President Joe Biden when he paid a visit to Charleston. We became enduring friends when he was a Presidential candidate who visited the church I then served as pastor. Joe Biden is a master storyteller, and I still sometimes use one of his stories when I’m asked to deliver a speech.
He tells how – when he was a newly elected and very young Senator having lunch in the U.S. Capitol’s Senate dining room – he had trouble getting a busy waiter’s attention. After finally waving him down, he ordered iced tea and was a little bit more than aggravated when the waiter passed him by a few more times before bringing it.
When the waiter finally brought his tea, Joe recounted that he indignantly said, “You don’t know who I am – I’m Delaware Senator Joseph R. Biden!” He said the waiter simply smiled and said, “You don’t know who I am – I’m the guy you’ve trusted to bring you your iced tea.”
That reminded me of the stories told by black waiters and servants I knew growing up in the segregated south – who sometimes exacted quiet revenge on rude and racially insulting white restaurant patrons by doing “interesting” things to their food and beverages between the time when their orders left the kitchen and reached their tables.
The inherent message in the story that Joe told is still true – no matter who we are and what we do, we’re still God’s children, we all have roles to play in life and we all have worth in God’s eyes.
Remember that in these times, when some mean-spirited politicians make “political hay” by dividing people and playing to their fear of “the other” and when we sometimes judge others by their education, jobs, color, culture, religion or politics – when we sometimes write people off, disrespect and fear them on the basis of irrational, subjective and stereotypical criteria.
We’d do well to remember that we’re all creations of the same God, that we all have our share of strengths and weaknesses and that we are all worthy of God’s grace. When we realize that, we’ll reach out to, respect and seek to improve the lives of all people – just as God has done for us.
Let the God we serve bless you to respect and reach out to all of God’s children. When you do, you can make a difference in the lives of others, find new meaning and direction in your life and find new power in a simple song of my childhood that says, “Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”