Romans 2:11 (NRSV)
For God shows no partiality.
Our thoughts are unseen hands shaping the people we meet. Whatever we truly think them to be, that’s what they’ll become for us. – Richard Cowper
We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them. – Anais Nin
We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are. – Anais Nin
Leviticus 19:15 (NIV)
Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
The problem isn’t in the labels themselves, but in how conscious we are of them. Labels are just a mental shorthand for leveraging past experience, and preparing us for what lies in store. But when I am unconscious of these labels, I start believing them to be the full truth, when in reality they merely reflect my own conditioning. Then, instead of giving me a head start on gaining more information, labels collapse my experience and actually limit my opportunities to grow. – Viral Mehta, The Neurobiology of ‘Labeling’
Colonialism is about power and conformity to a set of beliefs. Gospel is about love and giving away power. The Spirit affirms our uniqueness and giftings. Empire conforms us into a particular image. – Randy Woodley, Ask and Indigenous Theologian
God’s purpose is relationship, restoration, reconciliation. But there can’t be any reconciliation without communication and certainly no communication if we can’t or won’t listen, say we don’t have the time, or refuse to really try. Two key elements to this journey are perspective and intention. God has gifted us with the ability to see from inside our heart. So do we observe through a wide-angle lens or limit our vision to the endemic cultural myopia? Do we run free or are we restricted by blinders? Do we search for new stars with purpose at night or do we glance up without belief in the middle of the day? -Derek Maul, The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian
We needed to have real faith that anyone who walked in, regardless of his or her problems, would become a trophy of God’s grace. – Jim Cymbala discussing the transformation of his congregation The Brooklyn Tabernacle in the book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire
James 2:1 (NLT)
My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others?
Our separateness is the most seductive illusion. God’s one kiss awakens us. You are one with the stranger, the enemy, the very ones you distance yourself from. Their blood runs in your veins, your dreams haunt them. We breathe in one another. One hand holds us all. – Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Made into One
Ephesians 2:13-19 (NRSV)
Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God…
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
– Brandon Heath, chorus from the song Give me Your Eyes
For more information on today’s featured artist, click here
For an original song lyric/poem on this theme entitiled Image of Love, click here
For more information on the use of the quotes, scripture translation, art and this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.