I am originally from Haiti. My country is considered the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. It is often belittled or disregarded. Even so, Haiti is no less a part of God’s beautiful tapestry. I am proud to be Haitian. Having grown up in Haiti, it has helped me view life through a different lens than others. When I look at Jesus’ life, he too came from the margins, and he came into the world for those at the margins. He came for all to join the feast of the kingdom of God—poor or rich; immigrants or citizens; Hispanic, Black, or White; democrat or republican.
The church I serve has around 120 members with 10 different nationalities represented. We are a local example of how God is pulling together people from all corners of the world. As a Haitian, I bring my Haitian experience to my congregation, I also reach out to the immigrant community in Kansas City. It is exciting to see this global representation of God’s people. In a time when we are so easily divided over petty things, may we remember that the kingdom of God is for people of all backgrounds.
The world is much more diverse and interconnected than ever before. It is God’s global village. God is inviting people from all corners of the world to take their place in the feast of the kingdom of God. Are we willing to open our door to welcome those whose lifestyles, race, language, or skin color, is different from us? Are we willing to embody the promise that Jesus is the savior of the whole world? Are we willing to look for Christ in the margins of the world?
In this Advent Season, may we never forget that in God’s kingdom, there are no borders, no boundaries.
Dezo Louise Schreiner completed her Master of Divinity at Central Seminary in the summer of 2017. She currently serves as co-pastor at First Baptist Church of Kansas City, Missouri.
Dear Friends of Central, as we observe this joyous season of Advent and then Christmastide, we give thanks that Jesus draws the whole world together. God has called Central to be a place where north and south, east and west, come together as the one Body of Christ to learn how the Gospel takes root in different cultures.
I ask you to give generously as the year-end draws near. Each day I give thanks for your participation in the world-wide mission of Central. — Molly T. Marshall