Let me ask you a question. Answer quickly, without giving it much thought.
Are you of the same race as Tiger Woods, yes or no?
My guess is you and I quickly gave an answer based on the color of his skin compared with the color of our own. But is that an accurate way to judge? If not, we might have given the wrong answer.
After all, what race is Tiger Woods? A recent article noted that Tiger’s father is at least a combination of African-American, Chinese, and Native American. His mother has Thai, Chinese, and Dutch in her background.
If we consider national heritage, I suddenly don’t know what race Tiger is. I also find it hard to answer for myself. If my answer is that I am just a good old plain American I only have to step back one generation to discover that my mother’s maiden name sounds amazingly German, which it is. If I were to research my family tree back a few more generations, who knows what surprises I might uncover concerning my heritage.
But of this I am convinced. Am I of the same race as Tiger Woods? The answer is yes. We are all, Tiger, you, and me, in the same family.
Listen to what is written in the very first chapter of the Bible.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27.
Every person, regardless of skin color, race, nationality, intelligence, wealth, or any of the other arbitrary factors we use to mark division, has the same Father. Each of us carries inside the tell-tale signs that would cause us to be recognized as brothers and sisters, if we would just look.
Perhaps that explains why Jesus said the second greatest commandment, second only to loving God, is to love our neighbor as ourselves. After all, every father wants their children to get along and help each other out. And no father can help but be angry when someone mistreats his children.
Indeed, God gets angry enough at his children being wronged that Jesus warns us that insulting another person and calling them a fool puts us in danger of going to hell! He then continues to tell us, in what we call the Sermon on the Mount, not to even show up and worship God if we aren’t getting along with a brother. First we need to get things right with others, as much as we can, and then show up to worship God.
So let’s stop being so concerned with what things look like on the outside. Anyone who saw me play golf would have every reason to suspect I’m not related to Tiger Woods. But look closer. He’s my brother.
Rick Cupp is minister of the Kenai Fellowship, 283-7682. Sunday Bible Classes for all ages are at 10 a.m., coffee and fellowship at 10:45 and worship at 11:15. Wednesday Meal is at 6:15 p.m. with services at 7:00.