Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (NIV)
Man, there are a LOT of things that separate us: race, nationality, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, gender, age, denomination, and the list goes on and on! The same was true hundreds of years go when Paul wrote this letter to the Church at Corinth. The separation between Jews and Gentiles was probably even greater than that between slave and free. There have long been many things that separate us. There is nothing new under the sun.
If our life goal is to “Look Out for Number One”, these things that separate us create huge challenges. They become threats – perceived or real – to optimizing our own well-being. We are seeing stories of this in our nightly news – stories of people who feel so threatened by those different from them that they would commit atrocities the likes of which we couldn’t have even envisioned just a few short years ago.
If our life goal is to live “All for One”, these things that separate us create huge opportunities. If you have spent any time thinking about the “One” of Whom we speak, let alone signed up to follow that One, you quickly come to realize that One is far greater than any one of us, or even all of us put together. But the best, and only, way we can come close to representing that One to a world that desperately needs to see that One is to come together as one body – each bringing our own body part – and doing everything we can to encourage every other body part to do what they can to represent Someone so great as that One.
That One is, of course, Jesus. Are you ready to stand before Him and declare whether you “Look Out for Number One” or whether you are “All for One”? He’s the Creator of all things – the one who masterfully designed all of this diversity so that we could all experience His kingdom here and now. To do so, we need to embrace diversity and not be threatened by it.
Lord, let this reader and I be “All for One” – Jew or Greek, slave or free, white or black, poor or rich, Catholic or Protestant, female or male, Democrat or Republican…
This is the third in the “Embrace Diversity” series of blog posts.