In fact, I marvel at diversity and praise God for it.
Nothing makes me praise God more than the change of
seasons: that first crisp fall morning, the annual
resurrection of spring, that first HOT summer
afternoon, the bite of cold in the winter. As a
child, I lived for a few years in Albuquerque, New
Mexico, and we often went to the zoo. One of my
favorite games there was to find as many different
colors of feathers as possible. Bright blue, light
blue, turquoise, red, brown, black, orange, brilliant
greenthey were all there. The wonder of
Gods attention to detail wowed me even then. I
felt the same sense of incredulity in the Caribbean a
few years ago when I snorkeled among thousands of
fish decorated in the most amazing array of color and
ut not everything
about diversity makes our souls sing. Diversity
sometimes wrecks our routines, confuses us, and
challenges us. When it comes to people, what one may
celebrate as diverse, is downright fickle, if not
irritating, to another.
o what are we to
do? Should we celebrate curious character or become
frustrated by those fickle figures in our lives?
People have been wrestling with that same question
for centuries. Even the apostle Paul, as he worked
closely with saints across the Roman empire struggled
to keep Christians working contently rather than
contentiously. Remember Eueodia and Synthichae in
Philippi? Will someone please help these women to get
along, Paul begged in his letter to the church there.
The problem is more than a mere nuisance. To the
Corinthians, he wrote, I cant call you
spiritual because there is still division among
you... You are just big babies (1 Cor. 3:1ff).
n truth, we are
all totally different. We dont look the same,
act the same, or think the same. We are motivated by
different emotions, feelings, ambitions, needs, and
goals. We have different abilities, talents, levels
of intelligence, and spiritual gifts. Yet, we are all
expected to act and function as one body in the
he chore might
not be so difficult if we truly believed we were that
one bodyChrist. When God glorified Jesus, he
put all things under him and appointed him to be the
head for the church, which is his body, the fullness
of him who fills everything in every way. (Eph. 1:22)
The Ephesian letter begs that the reader grasp this
fact: the church is Christ, 100% reconstituted. To be
a part of the church is to be part of one being,
Jesus. Ephesians 1:9-10 says it was Gods will
to create unity by bringing all things in heaven and
on earth together under one head, even Christ.
His purpose was to create in himself one new
man out of two, thus making peace. (Eph.
ho would dare to
undermine the purpose of God? We do. Each time we
separate ourselves from one another, each time we
bicker and argue, gossip, and refuse to forgive we
testify that we do not understand Gods purpose
in Christ. God created our unity. We need not wrestle
with how we might achieve it; we must surrender to
it. Paul wrote, make every effort to maintain
the unity through the bond of peace. (Eph.
4:3). Maintain the unity.
ur cars come with
warranties that require a particular maintenance
schedule because dealers know that only a properly
maintained vehicle will function at its best. The
church is no different. It also requires maintenance,
and that maintenance requires that each member
surrender his own will and accept the one will of
Christ. If the world needs anything today, it needs
to experience the fullness of Christ through the
consistent, powerful witness of his body, the church.
re you keeping up
with your maintenance schedule? How well are you
maintaining your relationship in the church, the
vehicle of our peace? The world is watching. What
does it see?