What makes one person more valued than another? In some places, it is how much money someone has. In another place, it might be the color of skin. In school, it could be the person with the highest grades. In some cultures, the politician has the greatest influence.
In first-century Galatia (part of present day Turkey) certain qualities set people apart from one another: a free man was more valued than a slave; a male had more authority than a female; and even in the church, members argued about who had more value in the eyes of God: Greek of Jew.
Paul sends ripples through the Galatian Christian community when he writes, in effect, “Baptismal waters have washed away those differences and clothed all the believers in one garment: Jesus Christ.” (In early baptisms, the newly baptized literally had their old clothes taken away and new baptismal clothing put on.) Of course, you are still male. Of course, you are still female. You are slave. You are free. You are Greek. You are Jew. But in Jesus Christ, you all have the same family inheritance!
I ask myself: which Christians have I made into second-class believers? How about those with whom I disagree theologically? How about those who feel God leading them to a social issue conclusion different than mine? How about those who are new to the faith or those who seem stuck at the same spiritual spot for fifty years?
This Christian family is a mixed bag! But as a friend of said, “I have been blessed by my blood family and by my water family.” Thanks be to God that in baptism we have become water family!
Lord Jesus Christ, you have clothed me in the family robe. Amen.