You and I, and indeed all of humanity finds itself between God above, and the created order beneath. In God’s Order, the second level has to do with humankind.
The earth is teeming with people who are differentiated by race; by language, tribal, national, or ethnic groupings; by economic positions (developed or developing), and by countless other subdivisions. Some of these categories are natural, as in race and language. Others have evolved, or have been created by the actions of humans. Some of these have come through positive goals and actions, while others have resulted from hostile actions such as colonial empire building or wars of conquest.
Everyone on earth finds her/himself personally and palpably involved in one or more of these groupings. Membership/citizenship helps to define who we are. It gives a sense of belonging, which potentially gives meaning, and perhaps even direction, to life.
One of the outstanding factors about all of this is the “manyness”, or the diversity. In defining themselves humans can, and do, say, “we are not like them”. We have a common humanity, but after that it gets separated, divided, categorized, and pigeon-holed, till we can find a place to file anybody.
These teeming billions on earth, no matter what affiliation or membership gives meaning to them, want, and even long for the same basic matters: food, a place to live, security or peace, work, and freedom. And many of us, want a lot more; or we want each of those items in abundance, and/or with style. These are the things that drives the politics and economics of nations, governments, institutions and corporations of our world. It is not always pretty.
From the first level of God’s Order there comes this call/invitation to another category of belonging; a membership that transcends the differences and divisions, and citizenship that exist. It is a call to become the people of God; a people under God.
It is a call to recognize our Creator, and at the same time to recognize that our humanity is more important than our racial identification, or national citizenship. We are invited to membership in a unique togetherness, where our primary sense of belonging comes from our relationship to God. And more than that, that our first loyalty and allegiance is to this God. It is, in a sense, an affirmation of God’s Order, i.e. that the spiritual realm which we refer to as the first level, is indeed primary.
In a world divided to the point of hatred and bloodshed, which is nurtured by claims of superiority over the others, there is a crying need for such a transcending togetherness where any and all are welcome. This is a heady and powerful concept.
It is good news and wonderful, that God wants us to be His people.
Show us the way to such togetherness; to such belonging.