These days it seems to be more and more difficult to find a place where everyone agrees. We all have very different backgrounds and perspectives that help shape our points of view on many topics. Having a community that is full of diversity is indeed full of challenges, but can also be truly beautiful! In teaching young children, I often talk to them about how boring our world would be if we were all exactly the same! Can you imagine a world full of only you?! I know I would get bored of me!
While diversity certainly makes things beautiful and fun in many cases it is indeed challenging. I believe one of the greatest challenges is having the mindset that our perspective is the only right way. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in the utmost importance of principles and committing to our core foundations of faith from the truth of the Bible. However, I myself am guilty sometimes of desiring for others to share my perspective in matters that are indeed trivial in the grand scheme of things.
As our church is reuniting to more and more in-person gatherings, I think it is great time to reflect on unity. As a body of Christ, aren’t we thankful that each of us brings different gifts to share with one another? As Romans 12 points to us all having been given different gifts that we can use to serve together. Our church body needs all of you and the various gifts you bring! So, please share those gifts!
Also found in Romans is the truth that all of us are unified by grace: “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
As we reunite, it is very important for us to remember that we are all going to make mistakes and mess up. It’s going to happen and if you haven’t already seen it – you will. I hope and pray that you will have grace for me as I know have and will continue to make mistakes despite my best efforts. I urge us all to be full of grace for one another.
So, let’s celebrate our diversity and use it to bring great gifts to God! Let’s be unified in the core foundations of the Bible and not get tangled in trivial matters. Let’s be unified in grace – full of grace for one another just as Christ shows grace to us all.
I love the words by Chris Tomlin to the song “Together” and I’ll close with this prayer for Southside –
“You’re the God who never leaves
When life gets hard, we all need Jesus
We fall apart, and You’re putting the pieces
Thank You Lord, You hold all things together”