Easter and Cultural Intelligence
He is risen!
He is risen, indeed!
The call to one another on Easter (or Resurrection Day as some of us like to say) is as ancient as the Christian religion.
Our tendency to be against one another is more ancient, since Cain and Abel.
And yet, there’s hope. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
It is because of Christ’s resurrection that we are who we are: followers of Christ. That includes being willing to learn to be culturally intelligent, to care for the people who are different from us, whether different in ethnicity, nationality, religious affiliation or none, generation or gender.
It is because of the resurrection we have the power to rise above our own selfish focus, our tendency to think our culture, our lifestyle, our language, our choices, our opinions as better than another.
Some points to remind us of events after the resurrection:
- Matthew 28:19 – Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of ALL nations,”
- Acts 1:8 – Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
- Jerusalem: In Acts 2, at the time when the Holy Spirit had come upon the disciples, there were Jews from “every nation under heaven.” (vs 5) The disciples started speaking in several languages, such that people heard “each in his own native language.” (vs 8) There was not an endorsement of just one language.
- Samaria: Acts 8:14-17, we see Jews and “despised” Samaritans praying together.
- End of the earth: In Acts 10:9-35, we hear the struggle Peter faced when told by God to minister to those people, the Gentiles.
The Gospel was spreading as the apostles were obedient to cross cultures with the good news.
Because of the resurrection,
We are called as Christians to a new unity not based on our tribal allegiances. In Christ “there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free.” Instead there are those putting on “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” toward one another regardless of their cultural origins. (Colossians 3:11-14) In Christ, who is the “image of the invisible God,” we are called back to being God’s image, a people from every nation, tribe, and tongue in whom the Creator can be glimpsed.
Though “we are fallen humans,” because of the resurrection we are “dying to self and being raised with Christ as we share God’s grace with others who share our condition.”
- Romans 10:12 – For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.”
- Galatians 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Greek there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
- Galatians 5:6 – “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”
- Ephesians 3:6 – “This mystery is that the Gentiles [or any “other”] are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” [my addition]
“Cultural intelligence is more than just a politically correct agenda for diversity and multiculturalism. Jesus’ life and death are what made it possible for us to seriously consider moving beyond the desire to love the Other and actually doing it.”
He is risen!
He is risen, indeed!
 Smith, D.I. & Dykstra-Pruim, P. (2016). Christians and Cultural Difference. Grand Rapids, MI: Calvin College Press.
 Livermore, D.A. (2009). Cultural Intelligence: Improving your CQ to engage our multicultural world. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.