Isaiah 56:8 “Thus says the Lord God,
who gathers the outcasts of Israel,
I will gather others to them
besides those already gathered.”
Google “the original definition of the word barbarian” and you will find it is translated “not a citizen of Roman”. Google “the original definition of gentile” and you will find it is translated “not jewish”. So why is it that the word gentile does not have a negative connotation and barbarian does? There isn’t a parallel word to the adjective barbaric at all.
The reason comes down to a very different long term view of the outsider. The Roman Empire always viewed the outsider as someone to be exploited or defeated. The Hebrew and Christian traditions begin to see the outsider as a gift.
As I reflect on these two divergent journeys of similar words the change in perspective made all the difference. The Romans viewed the outsider with suspicion while the Jewish and Christian faiths found a way to open their eyes to how an outsider could be a gift.
If you get caught in any moment of time you can find all sorts of reasons where those faith groups have fallen short, but the difference is in a long term vision that calls us back the love of our neighbor.
In your own journey can you cast a vision of hope that connects with those beyond your current viewpoint?