The Celebration of Diversity
Individual differences are to be viewed as an occasion of celebration, not conquest.
(Gary W. Moon, Apprenticeship with Jesus: Learning to Live Like the Master)
God is the creator of everything and every creature in the world. He was pleased to create differences between human beings and other things. For instance, a hand is made up of different shaped fingers. None of them are identical. Even though there are noticeable differences between them, their functions are the same. Our God is a versatile creator. He rejoices in our diversity of unique shapes, colour and complexities. As human beings we are privileged to be a part of a diverse world. He made man according to his own image, with a touch of uniqueness.
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Regardless of God’s satisfaction in creating humanity to be different, throughout history men have objected to his handiwork. Diversity has become a hostile topic for those who oppose celebrating our uniqueness. In fact, the Bible depicts an encounter between Jesus and a Samaritan woman – a significant moment between a Jew and a woman from a despised race. It is interesting to note that Jesus was the one who bridged the gap between himself and the woman, deliberately ignoring their differences. Nevertheless it was the woman who highlighted their cultural differences and asked: ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’
We may easily understand her surprise and confusion. For many years the Samaritans had been despised and rejected because they were culturally and ethnically different. What a meaningful lesson we learn from Jesus. He listened, built a bridge between the two races and accepted her for who she was. As a result of this wonderful encounter the life of this woman – and an entire village – was transformed. He was the one who made the connection, regardless of the fact that they were culturally different. What a beautiful example Jesus has provided for us.
Scripture – Ephesians 4:1-6
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation by which you were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (King James 2000).
Dear Lord, I am thankful that I am one of the threads joined to another thread in the tapestry of diversity. I am unique and different from the rest of my brothers and sisters around the world, and yet you have stitched us together to create the beautiful tapestry of life. Every thread needs another thread to be joined to create a beautiful pattern of colour and form. Thank you for stitching us together, regardless of our differences and uniqueness. Amen.
God has created us to be different and amazingly unique, so as to be part of his handiwork and diverse creation. It is our corporate prayer to accept everyone the way he or she is. Help us to see good things in every person. O Lord, helps us to celebrate our diversity and differences in love and to see major strengths in every individual instead of minor weaknesses. Amen.
We pray for our sisters and brothers throughout the world that they may have a sense of uniqueness, acknowledging the fact we have been created beautifully, yet different. May we joyfully celebrate the way we are and how precious we are in his sight. He is the ultimate creator and we are the hallmark of his love and grace. Amen
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