CLERGY CORNER: Diversity and Unity

Posted on 28 February 2019 by LeslieM

Rainbows are beautiful displays of nature that always seem to attract attention whenever and wherever they show up in the sky. Wikipedia defines a rainbow as “a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky.” They most often appear in the form of a multi-colored arc and are usually displayed in an area to the opposite of the position of the sun. Their color is attributed to the fact that water droplets break white sunlight into the seven colors of the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

In Genesis 9:13 God tells Noah, “I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” Rainbows serve as beautiful reminders of the presence, power, and promise of God.

Like the rainbow, we are God’s handiwork in nature, creating beauty in our unity and reflecting His purpose and glory. From the beginning, God’s intention was for His diverse creation to exist in harmony and collaboration. Each aspect of the created world had a purpose and function that was to complement the others. Though different and distinct, the earth, sky, sun, stars, moon, animals, fish, vegetation and mankind were expected to coexist in peace.

Sin, birthed through Adam’s disobedience, ruined God’s original intent for man’s relationships with Himself and others, but does not exempt us from the need to fulfill His purpose. The Bible consistently urges us to brotherhood and oneness.

In the Genesis 9 account which details events after the Flood, verse 19 relates that from Noah’s three sons “the whole earth was populated.” In Acts 17:26, Paul proclaims that God “Has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth.” Psalm 133:1 exclaims, “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” In John 17:21, Jesus prayed for those who would believe in Him “that they may be one.” All these statements indicate that despite our undeniable differences we can and should live in unity and accord. We are related in our common humanity and connected by our need for the same things. We are family!

Too often we spotlight our differences and become exclusive because of our distinctions. History has revealed that this can lead to tensions, disagreements, injustice, brutality, racism and war. Instead, we should appreciate our uniqueness, collaborate on our common interests, and celebrate our collective achievements. Our differing perspectives, abilities and contributions can be synergized to accomplish collectively what none of us could do on our own. The reality of our undeniable diversity should never be allowed to prevent the results of our indisputable unity. As Dr. King famously remarked, in his “I Have A Dream” speech, “With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”

Musical notes are each distinct and unique for the sound that they make. On their own that uniqueness, though unequaled and spectacular, can become monotonous and uninspiring. The significance of the diversity of each note is not fully appreciated until they are combined in a melody that is sweet to the ear, sensible to the mind and soothing to the soul. The keys on any piano or organ are designed and intended to function in an intentionally harmonious collaboration of music and song. No one key can create a satisfying melody. So too our diversity is best appropriated when we recognize our connectedness and learn to live in purposeful unity.

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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