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    « Community Begins with Christ | Main | The Turning of the Seasons »

    The Church is a Diversity By Design

    On more than one occasion, I have marveled at the differences existing within the fellowship of the church, whether it be racial, socio-economic, political, theological, liturgical, or otherwise. At times, I have been in awe. But not always.

    I confess to being snobbish, from time to time, regarding just who God has called to be part of the church, or in what way those in the church express their devotion to God. This is not easy to admit. I may conceal it well. But in my heart of hearts, I know. There are people I am quite surprised to find myself in fellowship with, not by my own appointment, but by the calling of Christ.

    And when I reflect upon this reality, I quietly confess my sin, remember that I am redeemed by sheer grace, and humbly ask that God reform this deficiency. Perhaps, over the course of time, the Great Physician will rid me of all impurity, and I will experience the sweetness of welcoming all people in to God's great fellowship, as they actually are, not as I wish them to be. It is God's great feast, not mine, and I trust that he possesses greater wisdom when compiling a banquet list. My parties can be a bit dull. If our picture of Jesus given in the gospels is any indication, with God, it is not so.

    C. S. Lewis is instructive. In Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, Lewis writes:

    It takes all sorts to make a world; or a church. This may be even truer of a church. If grace perfects nature it must expand all our natures into the full richness of the diversity which God intended when He made them, and Heaven will display far more variety than Hell. "One fold" doesn't mean "one pool." Cultivated roses and daffodils are no more alike than wild roses and daffodils.

    There is beauty in diversity, and God calls us together not according to our race or social status, our talents or our abilities, but instead by grace. Diversity is God's design. And unity is given in Christ.

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