God inspired an alternative and counter-cultural vision for His new society in the Roman Empire. This vision was expansive and inclusive. This great society would not grow through conquered lives. It would grow through surrendered hearts. Her lord would not be Caesar. Her Lord would be Jesus. Greatness would be defined by service not power. In this Kingdom "there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female for all are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3.28). In this Kingdom all conventional divisions are rejected in recognition of the dignity inherent in every soul.
This vision, for an alternative and counter-cultural Kingdom community, penetrated and changed the Roman world. What it did then it can still do now… it is to this vision of and for the Church that we will reflect on this week.