This is the second post in the series Unequal Christianity. To read the first post, click here.
Ade frowned as his mum shared the slices of bread for breakfast between him and his older brother, Kunle. Ade was used to this breakfast every weekday – warm tea and a few slices of bread. His mum worked in a bank and had to resume work before 8am everyday. This prevented her from waking up early to cook. The properly made tea and the delicious Prom Bread wasn’t what made Ade frown. What made him frown was the fact that his mum had given Kunle two extra slices of bread.
“Ade, you should be used to this by now,” his mum said quietly. “The older among siblings will always have special privileges. They will receive bigger meats, eat larger meals and collect larger sums of money. There is no way that all siblings will have the same privileges.”
But Ade wasn’t one to believe in special privileges for older folks.
“We are equal, mum,” he had often told his mum, “we should enjoy the same privileges.”
His mum would often reply, “No, son, you’re not. But you’ll understand someday, Ade. You will.”
Adele hated the preferential treatment. If they loved me as much they loved Kunle, then we should be treated the exact same way, he would often tell himself. Sadly, Ade is a Nigerian and, in most cultures in the West African country, older siblings enjoy special privileges. In some families, the younger children end up having an inferior mindset. Many of them believe that they will always be at best “the alternative” and never the first choice among their older siblings.
But a different culture is seen in God’s Kingdom.
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.”
Rom. 8:17. NIV
In my own opinion, our siblinghood is unafrican. Why? Because nobody has greater privileges. Age doesn’t give anyone preferential treatment, neither does money or fame. No ones access is greater than that of another.
“And make a veil of blue, purple, and scarlet [stuff] and fine twined linen, skillfully worked with cherubim on it.
And you shall hang the veil from the clasps and bring the ark of the Testimony into place within the veil; and the veil shall separate for you the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.”
Exo. 26:31,33. AMP
The High Priest (not just any priest) was the only one permitted to get into the Holy of Holies and it was only for once in a year. Imagine offending someone you love so much and not being able to meet that person face-to-face to apologize and hear that special person say, “I’ve forgiven you.” That’s exactly how was! The ordinary man never came to meet and know God personally. The High Priest would enter on behalf of the entire nation of Israel and make an atonement for all of their sins.
The concept of an intimate relationship with God was scarcely understood by the Israelites those days. The veil then stood as a divide between the outside world and the tangible presence of the Father. In my own words, “No man could come into the presence of the Father except through the veil.” And, boy, the veil had been a pretty sight – a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet and fine twined linen of cunning work.
But that pretty veil had prevented them from knowing God intimately. In fact, I believe that the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 by the Romans signified an end to the old system. In a sense, that temple signified the continuation of the old covenant. Now we know that “the God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, doe not live in temples made by man.” (Acts 17:24)
We all know that He is the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Him. No more veil! But so many believers still have their own custom made veil. For some, their spiritual heads are their veils. For others, denominational doctrines and dogma exist as veils. Ignorance also stands as a veil for some.
I believe that we have the best gift from God since Adam fell – A.C.C.E.S.S. You can know God. No one has more access than you do. We all have the same “amount” of access. Just come boldly unto the throne of grace. You will not meet any gatekeeper. Let nothing and nobody stop you. Destroy whatever veil that still exists.
You are dearly loved and your lover longs for fellowship. Learn to enjoy His presence. Nothing else can really satisfy you but him.
© Eleazar Maduka, 2017