September 26

 Cultural Barriers Fall
by Kevin Clark
I have seen a significant transformation in my lifetime. Regional diversity is much more difficult to identify in 21st Century America. What are the causes of that trend? Is it mass media, mass transportation, far-reaching commercial interest, television, radio, the internet or a combination of all that has monoculture our communities? As I travel from community to community across our great land, it is harder and harder to distinguish one town or state from another. Even as many cities are protecting their identity and celebrating their roots, others have long forgotten what made them special. I am not ready to condemn this trend even as I mourn the loss of those unique distinctions in our culture. The changing trends may also be unifying.
In today’s reading, we witness a significant cultural barrier fall in the early days of the Jesus movement. Philip courageously goes to the “dogs,” the Samaritans, the racially impure half-brothers of the Jewish people. He follows the lead of His Savior and reaches out in love to share the hope he has embraced. What barriers are we being called to break through to love another person? What do we have to give up to reach out? Pride? Safety? Convenience? Fear?

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