Theme of the Week: You and Creation
Bible Verse: “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” Revelation 7:9
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:1-11
The church contains a collection of people as diverse as the cells in the human body.
I think of the churches I have known: Is there another institution encompassing such a human mosaic? Young idealists wearing T-shirts and sporting tattoos share the pews with executives in suits. Bored teenagers tune out the sermon even as their eager grandparents turn up their hearing aids. Some members gather as methodically as a school of fish, then quickly disperse to return to their jobs and homes. Others migrate together like social amoebae and form intentional communities.
During my life as a missionary surgeon in India and now as a member of the small chapel on the grounds of the leprosy hospital in Louisiana, I have seen my share of unlikely seekers after God. I must admit that most of my worship has taken place among people who do not share my tastes in music, sermons, or even thought.
Still, over those years I have been profoundly—and humbly—impressed that I find God in the faces of my fellow worshipers, people who are shockingly different from each other and from me. C. S. Lewis recounts that when he first started going to church, he disliked the hymns, which he considered to be fifth-rate poems set to sixth-rate music. Then, he writes, “I realized that the hymns (which were just sixth-rate music) were, nevertheless, being sung with devotion and benefit by an old saint in elastic-side boots in the opposite pew, and then you realize that you aren’t fit to clean those boots. It gets you out of your solitary conceit.”
A color on a canvas can be beautiful in itself. The artist excels, however, not by slathering a single color across the canvas but by positioning it between contrasting or complementary hues, so that the original color derives richness and depth from its surroundings.
The basis for unity within any human community begins not with our similarity but with our diversity.
Taken from Fearfully and Wonderfully by Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey, InterVarsity Press, Copyright ©2019 by Philip Yancey and the Children of Paul and Margaret Brand. Used by permission.
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