Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Unity in Diversity

 As I was walking along the streets of downtown Indy on a Friday a couple weeks ago, I passed by a guy dressed as the late Heath Ledger's 'the Joker' as seen in 'The Dark Knight'. Others I passed were dressed as Gandalf, one of the X-Men, or some other fictional movie, novel, anime character. Actually everywhere I went downtown, whether in the mall, monument circle, or along the streets; there were people dressed up in the favorite fictional characters. What was the occasion? Gen con, an annual weekend long gaming convention.
 Now I've never been to this conference, and never will go. Yet, one of the several things that I have observed in watching those who attend this conference is that there is something that they all have in common....the conference itself. I don't exactly know what all goes on at this conference, but I do know that it attracts a plethora of people from all over the state (quite possibly from the neighboring states too). There are differences to all that go too. Like differences ethnicity, age, the costumes they're wearing, the games that they like, so on and so forth. There are plenty of other settings in where there is unity in diversity. The Gen con is just one of many examples.

 A couple years ago this thought entered my mind, bringing tears to my eyes: "The body of Christ is a beautiful thing!" Oh, and I still think it is! The thought of Unity in the midst of diversity is what makes it so beautiful to me! Within the church there are-

Man & Woman
Young and old
Singled and married
The poor & the wealthy
Introverts & extroverts
The Jocks & nerds
 The former gang member & straight A student
The short & tall
The blonde, brunette, & red-head
African Americans & Caucasians
The Native American & Hispanic
Chinese & Japanese 
The Saudi & Russian
The Italian & Somali
The english speaker & mandarin chinese speaker
The deaf & the ones in the leper colonies
The city-dweller in NYC
And the guy living in the remote village in the Nepalese mountains
Christ is all & in all

 Ha! There's more that I can add to that list, but you get the idea! Such diversity that can only be united under the banner of the Gospel, and have such rich commonality in Christ! Yes, it's the Gospel that creates such a beautiful unity in the midst of diversity!
 My church is a huge church, with many people all diverse in ethnicity, age, social status, personalities among many other things. It's one of the various things I love about my church; looking around in the foyer or sanctuary to see all different kinds of people all gathered in one place to worship one Savior, namely Jesus!
 Yet, Scripture gives us a more colorful and vibrant display of gospel-unity in diversity. That can be found in Revelation 5:

"And they sang a new song, saying,

'Worthy are you to take the scroll
 and to open its seals,
For you were slain, and by your blood you
 ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and
 people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and
 priests to our God, 
and they shall reign on the earth." (Rev. 5:9-10)

  This vision that John had is a promise, a guarantee that what John saw will come to pass. For Scripture says that whatever God has purposed & planned before the ages began will come to pass! A diverse and countless number of blood-bought and ransomed people around the throne of the Most High! Oh! How I can't wait for that day! To be in the presence of my Savior and God along with all my extroverted, introverted, blonde, brunette, short, tall, Chinese, Nepalese, Somali, Syrian, Peruvian, Japanese, Italian, Ugandan, and Native American brothers & sisters!

"Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all." ~Colossians 3:11

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