Last Sunday the passage from Paul’s letter to the church in Rome used the familiar language of the Church, the community of disciples of Jesus Christ, as a single human body. Part of the metaphor of the body stresses the importance of diversity, especially the diversity of spiritual gifts. Presently, we are in the midst of heightened national conversation on the topic of how we approach the question of diversity. Is diversity something to be embraced and celebrated, or is to be feared and shunned? In all circumstances hatred, violence, prejudice, and fear mongering are not part of the language of love given to us by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It saddens me beyond words how that fundamental concept continues to elude us as a people who attest to being representative of the greatest, noblest elements of humanity. But if we are to overcome this, then we must be the Church and live into the model from our own Scripture of a community that can possess both the qualities of a shared identity while still being distinct. An ear, Paul says, can never be an eye, and nor should it be lest we fail to achieve the wholeness available to us. But at the same time each cell of our bodies contains the same core genetic code, the same foundational quality that identifies the body to which it belongs. Can we embrace the challenge of overcoming division, alienation, and tribalism and abide in the place of being one body, simultaneously and essentially diverse and together?
Yours in Christ,