I haven’t lived in too many places in my life—started out in Cheboygan, Michigan and ended up making Columbus, Ohio my home. With the exception of three years in North Central Ohio, that’s been about it. It was in Columbus, then, that I found the perfect residence, and I’ve lived there ever since. It’s a special place, peaceful and secure as advertised, but what makes it unique is the neighbors—they’re amazing. Let me tell you about them.
Where I live, you will find liberals, conservatives, progressives, socialists and even communists. In this place, I’ve met several people from Africa, Asia, the U.S., of course, and if I can just get out more, I know I’ll meet denizens from other continents, too. People from an impressive array of religious backgrounds—Catholics, Protestants, Sikhs, Buddhists, Muslims and Jews—have departed from their points of origin and made this their home. Could there possibly be more diversity in one spot? Yet, despite our countless differences, we just love living here, and I’m quite certain none of us are inclined to move away. Ever.
Where is this place? Perhaps by now you’ve figured it out. We live in Christ. “Abide in me,”1 Jesus said, and from a demographic matrix of inestimable dimension, people have traveled countless life highways to this eternal Abode, dropped their bags and called Him, “home.” Then after a while, we all discover with wide-eyed wonder the same thing: in Christ, diversity ascends into unity. “There is one body and one Spirit … one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”2 Thus united, we go forward as the body of Christ, individually gifted and corporately bound in the Spirit of peace, together thriving in singularity of purpose—to bring glory to God.
There are many in this world who—through a cynical or perhaps naïve regard for diversity—would exploit people’s differences and pit us against each other toward destruction. And it is easy to allow our divergent views on earthly issues to distract us from the oneness we share in Christ and the work He calls us to do together. Could there be a more diabolical distortion of God’s design? God did not create our differences so as to divide us; rather, He honors the uniqueness of each of us as He builds us into something greater than all of us. Wrote Paul, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it,”3
So, let us resist the temptations that would divide and dissuade us and, instead, remember who we are—the body of Christ—and where we live, in Him. Each of us is in this with all of us.
Father, in your unsearchable wisdom, you made us different, not to divide all of us but to honor each of us as we take our place in the body of Christ. Grace us to value each other as you do and to unite as one Church in Him. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Christ in me is peace.
1 John 15:4
2 Ephesians 4:4-7
3 1 Corinthians 12:27
Read today’s Scripture in Ephesians 4:1-16.