God is the most amazing Creator--the variety of everything He creates is beyond our capacity to appreciate. Look at a garden--each twig on each plant is different. Animals--there is an amazing number of species, and even within a species, each individual is different. Look at people--the possible number of variations on one basic pattern is mind-boggling. Even in a family, everyone is a little--or a lot--different. Even twins are slightly different. Someone recently posted a picture of my brothers as very small children--and it was possible to recognize which twin was which. I think that within any group of people you can describe, the differences between members of the group are greater than the average between that group and another one. That is why it is important to deal with people as individuals--judging people by a broad brush does not tell what you may need to know about any individual.
Jesus is our example here--at one point, there were scholars in the Temple that were amazed by a 12-year-old who wasn't like one they'd ever known; but when he returned to Nazareth, most of the neighbors dismissed him as just another one of the neighborhood kids. Look at his experiences with Samaritans! The woman at the well (John 4) was surprised that this Jewish man would speak to her--a woman, a Samaritan, and someone with a checkered past, but he knew that she needed what he offered. There was an incident where a Samaritan town refused to sell the disciples food, and they wanted to destroy the town, but Jesus reprimanded them and went on to another town. (Luke 9:51+) Then in the parable he tells shortly after this, the supposed "good guys" avoid the man in need, and a Samaritan shows mercy. The result is that the Samaritans responded to the Gospel more openly than Jesus' own people. (Acts 8).
The early church had to work through this: we find animosities between Jews, Gentiles, Greeks, and others, but we also see God working with all sorts of people, such as an Ethiopean official and a Roman Centurion. The church ever since has had its ups and downs--excluding people, including people, persecuting people, rescuing people. We are called to be wise in our dealing with people--evaluating them with His eyes, praying for His heart.
The church as its best answers His call to "go to all the world"--next door and across the oceans. This last Thursday, we were honored to have Jim & Cathy Abell, longtime staff members of Mission Aviation Fellowship, visiting and sharing what they and MAF are doing. MAF was headquarted for some years at Redlands Airport, and the Abell family was active at NCF; they are now in Nampa, Idaho. MAF is an amazing arm of God, supporting missionaries and coping with disasters in many parts of the world. They serve people who are bringing the Word of God to people who are in remote and difficult places, who may be of different cultures and colors, but each of whom is one of God's children.
MAF is one of the missions that our church supports; 10% of your offerings goes outside our family to those who are serving God in a special way. You can learn more about MAF at www.maf.org, and can give additional support through our church by designating additional offerings for MAF.