As a new believer I attended a Bible Church in Alaska where I worked in a sawmill. I had dropped out of college temporarily after my junior year at Rutgers. What impressed me about the Bible Church though was how everyone was equalized to the same footing through their faith in Christ. It didn't matter whether they were manual laborers or professional people, poor, rich, or in between, everyone seemed to accept and value one another without awareness of station in life. Everyone was important regardless of who they were or what they did or what they had or hadn't accomplished in life. I had never experienced that kind of acceptance in community before in my 25 years upon earth. Whatever specialized knowledge, or expertise, or skills anyone had were openly and freely shared in such a generous way that they could be learned and acquired as long as there was a willingness or desire to do so and there was plenty of that too.
I have continued to see these qualities over the years in the faith communities I have known, even to the extent that I take it for granted now. But I will never forget how new and refreshing it felt at first, for it was truly the nature of a new creation, the very kingdom of God being sensed for the first time ever.
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