Everything I ever learned about people I learned in Sunday School in one song. That one song has molded my thinking and has stayed with me for years, giving me a perspective about loving and caring for people of different skin colors, ethnicity, and races. Red and Yellow Black and White…those are the words that molded my thinking.
At a very young age, our family loaded the station wagon and headed to church and Sunday School to our rural Minnesota church. Our church was so small that on a good day we had about 30 people in the church including the pastor who also pastored a nearby larger church.
It was a non-denominational church so that there would be no excuse not to attend. We even had our very own retired resident missionaries who brought people in from the next-door Indian Reservation. Always a new face at church to meet and greet and invite to bible studies and youth group.
Living in rural northern Minnesota there are not many encounters with people of other ethnicities, colors, and races. I thought as a kid it was kind of cool to make friends with families that were from the reservation. I don’t even remember graduating from high school with any people other than white, Indian, or an adopted Korean. We were all the same in my book.
Sunday School Impacts
Our missionary couple did a great job teaching us kids all about people. I heard more stories and saw many slideshows of families across the globe that needed to know about Jesus. I felt like all the kids and people of many colors across the globe in those stories were my friends. Did I ever meet them? No, but I liked them and wanted to meet them.
Everything I ever learned about people I learned in one song. The song that has stayed with me forever is a song that if you went to Sunday school you would have learned. The words are-
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world. Jesus died for all the children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight Jesus died for all the children of the world.”
I loved singing this song. I would imagine someone from Asia, and Africa, and Korea all in a big circle hugging each other and sitting around Jesus. What is not to love about this song. This is the song, I will always remember and taught me to love others no matter what color their skin was or where they came from.
My aunt and uncle were missionaries in Africa for a year and I still remember their photos of all the friends they made while they were there. They also adopted two girls from Korea and had a baby of their own while they were in Africa. Where they lived and their family was to me a symbol of that song.
Even though I was sheltered from many races in my school and town, I do believe this song opened my eyes to the way we each can be different in our skin color and giftings but equal in value.
We are all the same to God, and he knows our heart differences that only He can see.
I remember reading my history textbook in school about the civil war and the holocaust. I could not believe that people were slaves or that people were killed just because of their race. This astounded me as a kid and I loved reading the stories of how these people overcame their injustices.
When we were staying at an Airbnb this winter in the south, the mom we were staying with asked me after she looked at my winter photos if we had many blacks that live up north? I told her that when I went to school, we didn’t have any I could recall. She then said, “Well, I know why, it’s too cold up there for people like us to like it.” We had a good laugh.
The Next Generation
While we were raising our kids in central Minnesota, our kids had classmates that were adopted from other countries. Our neighbors were a blended family of Korean and Caribbean that we had over for meals and exchanged visits and childcare with. The kids became friends with their girls growing up and we helped each other out.
Our kids again learned this same song in Sunday School and it taught them that God loves everyone no matter what color they are. We brought our kids on mission trips for them to experience people across the globe. This was a gift we learned and wanted to teach our kids – to love others no matter their skin color, race, or ethnicity.
The Gift of love, Forgiveness, and Acceptance
Think about the words to this song and realize that God loves all. God sent his son Jesus to die for all and forgive all, the free gift we must receive. Come as you are to receive this gift. When you receive this gift of God’s saving grace, He gives you the gift to love others as best we know-how.
As I look back, I am so thankful for the gifts I received growing up. The gift of salvation, the song I learned, and all the ways others taught me to love others no matter what color they are. It all started with the song, “Red and yellow black and white they are precious in his sight; Jesus loves the children of the world. “ Everything I learned about people I learned in one song.
Questions to Ponder-
What has formed your relationships with others? How can you love others better? How can you teach your kids about loving others and caring for others no matter who they are? Do you know Jesus?
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