The Thought for the Week this week is written by Alison Speirs

by Susie Jean Sharkey

In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3 v 28

At the beginning of the year it is timely for us to consider again how we relate to one another, both to people who think and act as we do, but also to those who take a different perspective on life.
In our societies there is a tendency to, what I will call, “Tribalism”, that is a tendency to see ourselves as identifying with a group of people whom we see as like ourself. It can be a family group, a racial group, a religious group or a political party. The tendency is to see ourselves male or female, black or white, rich or poor.  When times became difficult or challenging in society, such as the crisis over exiting the European Union, the tendency to “Tribalism “ becomes stronger as we feel the need to look for an enemy to blame for the insecurity of our current experiences.  Thus it is the fault of the Tories or the European Parliament or the banks.
We should reflect that Christ, while He was here on earth, did not allow for the tendency to group or categorise but instead He dealt with everyone as individuals with their own particular combination of good bad bad and to everyone His message was the same,

“You must be born again, you must see the errors of your past, make restitution and follow me.”

This is the only tribe to which we belong the tribe of all believers, be they black or white, male or female Jew or Gentile.

Let’s resolve again this year to treat every person as an individual and look for what unites us and not for that which divides.