All The Children of the World

As I was thinking about St. Patrick’s Day on this Thursday I was reminded of a song from my childhood. Do you remember hearing this song in Church, “Jesus Loves the Little Children?” The lyrics of the first verse go like this:

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world.

Throughout the centuries of the world there have been all kinds of fights between different people groups, think of the Germans/Jews, people of Rwanda, people of Sudan, American Civil War, settlers and Native Americans in the US, just about every corner of the world has been touched by fighting between people groups, often because people were perceived as inferior to others. I don’t like to use the term inferior when talking about people, it’s OK when talking about poor quality construction materials or another poor quality product, but I don’t believe there are any inferior people, and taking a look through the Bible can reveal a very similar conclusion, the most famous being that of the Jews/Gentiles.

We may not think we’re being judgmental when it comes to other people, or we may be very conscious of our opinions and biases. However, what I’ve seen proven over and over again is that judging other people based on what we perceive as differences between “us and them” is not only dangerous, it establishes false beliefs. So often I meet people who fall into one pre-established category or another only to find that they are way more than any stereotype, and are in fact amazing creations that God has put on this earth for a specific purpose.

As you think about St. Patrick’s Day this week I encourage you to not let your preconceptions of who the Irish are as a people group limit you to seeing their contributions to the world and who they are as separate from their heritage, and do the same for the people groups that are part of your heritage as well.

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