Hebrews 12:14 — ESV
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
When looking for Scripture guidance on the subject of equality I came across this passage from the Letter to the Hebrews. While there are other passages in the Gospels and in other letters to the early Christian churches, I find this passage to particularly stand out with the same profound impact as you’d find when Jesus issues the two greatest commandments of loving God and loving your neighbor.
Here the direction is simple but far reaching and also with and added weight attached. We are invited to strive for peace with everyone. Not just some, not just with one group of people of one race or one nationality or with peoples of a certain religion or culture or language group… but with everyone. There are no qualifications stated here. There are no exceptions and exemptions. You will not find an asterisk or footnote attached to this passage. On top of the invitation to make peace with everyone is the second part of the passage letting us all know that peace has a connection with holiness.
Peace and the striving for it, is a holy act and having peace and sharing it and maintaining it is a holy work– protected and cherished and nurtured by God. It is desired by God. Peace and the holiness of pure peace, will bring us closer to God’s presence. For only in an environment of peace can we appreciate best God’s wondrous creation and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
And there is peace in unity and solidarity. There is peace in treating everyone as equals regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, political opinions, personal philosophies, religion, or cultural heritage.
If you attempt to take away any single color from a rainbow, it ceases to be as beautiful. Take away a single color from the world, and the world ceases to be as vivid and bright and as pleasing to the eye.