“The year we got everything wrong.”

So read a recent headline on the CNN website. The article went on to explore reasons for the divisions among us.

And here we are again at Christmas, with all its promise of peace on earth and a fresh new year stretching out before us.

What exactly is the promise of Christmas?

Andrew Wilson, teaching pastor at King’s Church in London, writing in Christianity Today reminded us what the Christian faith teaches about the worth of each person. All human beings are to be treated with the same dignity, regardless of class, race, sex, and so on. We’re called to fight racism and oppression and injustice.

But the phrase “all men are created equal” is not in the Bible.

The Bible has a higher vision of equality.

The Bible says “all are one in Christ Jesus.” In Jesus’ great prayer in John 17, Jesus prays that the disciples “would be one, just as he and the Father were one.”

The great missionary, Paul, writing in Galatians 3:28, says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female, all are one in Christ Jesus.” Paul uses the word “no” or “not” four times in that one sentence. Why? Because human categories are far less important to God than what God wants to do in all of us together.

Andrew Wilson says that “Equality in the modern sense is fundamentally individualistic: I’m equal with you, and you’re equal with me, no matter whether we are joined in any way. There’s no room for concepts like oneness, unity, and partnership.”

So the hope of Christmas is not that we’re all equal, the hope is that we’re all one in Jesus Christ.