There is a great paradox in this life. We are all the same, and we are not all the same. This realization came out in the conversation following the talk I gave last Sunday at VLC. We were exploring the “us and them” perspective and came to the understanding that when I see someone as a them it’s generally because there is some junk in my life I need to deal with. This junk makes me want to build a wall between me and the other person. If I allow God to help me work through this junk so that I can see the other person for who they are then then this person can become an us to me.
Diversity and difference are two sides of the same coin. Diversity includes. Difference excludes. Diversity allows for a multiplicity of voices and perspectives. Difference only allows the voices and perspectives that align with the dominant view of the greater whole.
In his letters the Apostle Paul spends a significant amount of energy helping the churches to work through this paradox, (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Colossians 3:12-17; Ephesians 2:11-22; this is not exhaustive) especially as grew and spread across the known world. What I take from this is that we are to develop diversity, by working through our junk, within the household of faith so that we can offer more points of access into the family of faith.
Grace and peace,