It is a little noted fact that as the Bible narrative unfolds from Genesis till the end, the scope of the people addressed goes from the individual (Adam) to all of humanity and even the entire creation, in some sense. God’s attention and blessing gradually expands from the very few to a vast multitude without number. This observation represents a very important lesson for those of us on this side of Christ who was the last chapter in the narrative.
Much of what roils us as a people today religiously and politically is our continued attachment to early stages of this unfolding Bible story. The tribalism of the time of Abraham, the theocratic administration of Moses, or the nationalism and warfare of Israel under David are often lifted up as a model for current day religion and politics. This is how we end up with the Ten Commandments as our national moral guide, despite their uniquely Jewish nature, and with an institutional church which so mirrors the Jewish priesthood, sacred building, and pious ritualism.
If one truly believes that the purpose of Jesus was to extend God’s attention and blessing to the whole world, then why be so obsessed with identity group privilege and exclusiveness. Doesn’t that mindset work against the very drift of the Bible story. Doesn’t it reduce Jesus to just another partisan reactionary, the polar opposite of a spiritual transformer who made all things new (II Corinthians 5:17).
As scary as change can be, the way forward in the Bible was always about changing, evolving step by step. Why else would we need a 2000 page book to describe it.
The last evolutionary step to a God of universal attention and assured benevolence was perhaps the scariest of them all, being so foreign to much of the rest of the story and our ego.