He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, August 15, 2016

In All Our Diversity

The Unites States stretches over five thousand miles from east to west and is different from area to  area. There are states which could be described as a “country” with its geographical diversity such as Arizona, Maryland, California or even Texas.  Yet it is this diversity that makes each state unique and such great a place. 

There are steep slopes in the Black Hills, Great Smoky and Rocky Mountains.  Areas like Iowa, Kansas and even Delaware are flat, fertile farmlands.  There are buttes, plateaus and wooded ridges in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming; great rivers like the Mississippi, Ohio, and the Rio Grande; and streams in Massachusetts, Arkansas or Washington; and there are majestic areas like the Grand Canyon, Arches, Yellowstone, Glacier and Yosemite National Parks.

 But are these geographical wonders in each state what really makes them so special?  While each of these elements are mesmerizing in their own right, it’s really the people who live in these places that makes the area so appealing and special.

            God created the people who live here as diverse, as the area in which we live, because it’s a collective effort of the inhabitants that gives it completion.  When Jesus chose his disciples, he chose twelve unlikely men who were as different from each other as they could be!  They ranged from a despised tax-collector to a fisherman to a betrayer, with others in between.  Yet these men, when joined with a singular purpose, despite their individual weaknesses, formed a group as strong as any ever known.

            People are different by design, much like the different parts of the body.  Our hands are different than our knees, our ears different than our feet, our shoulders different than our legs.  Yet, each individual part of the body serves a specific and important part of the whole.  Our knees cannot do what our hands can or the reverse.  The same is true of our ears and feet, shoulders and legs.  But we need each part of our body to have completion! 

            I have five children and none are alike.  Oh, they certainly share qualities and similarities physically, since they all share the same parents.  But there is a unique combination of qualities from both parents that makes them each unique.  Each of my children together completes the family.  They have their special gifts and talents separate from the others.  Their gifts, talents, strengths and weaknesses make our family strong.

            The church family is the same.  There are many abilities brought to the congregation as each person has been given specific abilities and qualities that compliment the gathering.  There is much to be done within the body of the church and not one person is able to do all of them.  So just like the hand, feet, ears, and eyes are part of the whole body, each person within the congregation is also part of the whole body. 

            The wonderful people who live across this vast continent, in all their diversity, are part of the grand total that makes this part of the world such an amazing place.  God has given us abilities and talents that complete our world.  I am grateful God has allowed me to become part of this family.  I’m glad you are part of it too!