The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


photo of Phyllis

As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:27-28

Labels are a useful way for humans to identify each other. When meeting someone who is unfamiliar to us, it is helpful to know if that person is male or female, tall or short, blonde or brunette.

Yet, labels can also set up an 'us vs. them' scenario that can be hurtful and even harmful. We watched this past week as our leaders in Washington D.C., labelled Democrats and Republicans, refused to cross party lines causing the government to actually shut down for a few days. And, the issues they were arguing about are still not resolved. Perhaps they are focusing too much on the 'us vs. them' instead of our shared humanity.

Underneath all the labels that define us, we are all made in God’s image. Paul’s words to the Galatians remind us that we all "are one in Christ Jesus." Let us live into the knowledge that we are all connected—all one—and leave the 'us vs. them' mentality behind.