Unity in Diversity: 5 Ways to Fulfill Your Role in the Universal Church.
By: Terri Prahl
A few years ago, we welcomed two girls into our home who had entered the foster care system due to parental addictions. Over time, these girls felt at ease in our home that looked starkly different than their own, but they still longed for their family of origin – they felt loved but never truly at home. They knew they were in a place of transition and waiting.
Inwardly, our foster girls were searching for people that looked like them, had their mannerisms, shared their culture, and identified by the same name.
Instead of being welcomed guests they desired to be united as family.
Isn’t this the cry of all our hearts? To be understood and known for who we are? To be a permanent part of a loving family?
This is God’s plan for us as His people; to be joined together as one through our faith in Christ. Through salvation, we become an eternal member of the household of God. The world will not welcome nor understand us, but He is the foundation for a better community.
Ephesians 2:19-21 (HCSB): “So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. The whole building, being put together by Him, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord. You also are being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.”
Unfortunately, we are living in a time when many look at the Church with bitterness instead of love. Rather than viewing other believers as family, we are quick to form camps that replicate our own image.
In many ways, believers today are being conformed to the divisive nature of the world, not to the humility of Christ. Community isn’t easy because it is full of human beings. Even Christians are in process and need grace to function as Christ intended – to love and care for one another deeply.
With Christ, all things are possible. Through the power of the Spirit indwelling believers, unity can be lived out even as we honor individual diversity. God can even grow us to admire and love all those He loves.
** This article was first published on livingbydesign.org on 2/15/22. To find out what happens in our fostering journey and the 5 ways to seek unity in the Church, read the rest of the article here.
Insightful. I love the suggestions given. Yes. As a mother of 8 (6 of whom came to us from other countries, speaking different languages) — this really resonates with me. Thanks so much!
Thank you for reading and sharing that. Glad it encouraged you!