The other evening as I walked in my yard as the sun set, I saw some flowers that had sprung up near a pepper tree. The flowers were unusual looking: light pink petals with long, yellow spindly pieces shooting out the center. I had never seen a flower that looked like this and I was amazed.
Every time I see something in nature that I haven’t seen before I am awed by God’s creativity. Sometimes I see flowers that are kind of strange looking, and I think, Why make a flower that looks like that?
But then I think, Why not make a flower like that? There are thousands of species of flowers alone and each brings a unique beauty into the world.
What if the only flowers in existence were red roses? Or daffodils? Or orchids? While they would be pretty, I much prefer that there are so many different kinds of flowers; along with such a variety of trees, animals, landscapes and even seasons.
The same goes for people.
God has made each of us with a unique personality and unique interests. I love that my husband’s hobbies vary from building cars to cultivating cycads, while my hobbies include reading and walking by the ocean. Joel is an extrovert, I’m an introvert. And yet we’re unified in Christ.
Unity is an important topic in the Bible.
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:3-6
Within the body of Christ (the Church) the Bible says we should be unified in Christ. But within that unity we are diverse with all of the different gifts, talents and personalities God has created in us. And under that umbrella of unity in Jesus, there is beauty in the diversity. Whether you like hymns or modern worship music; contemplative or exuberant worship gatherings; baptism through sprinkling or full immersion, (and those are just a few simple differences to name), we are unified in the Kingdom of God under the Lordship of Jesus.
And that is a beautiful thing!
Even within the twelve apostles Jesus chose, He picked quite a diverse group, didn’t He? A tax collector, a zealot, a doubter, an impulsive fisherman…talk about some stressful dinner conversation between them! And yet Jesus was intentional about the people He chose to put together. They had to learn to get along as they were also growing and learning to become who Jesus created them to be!
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Romans 12:4-6
Let’s take time this week to focus on the things we have in common with our brothers and sisters in Christ, while we also celebrate the uniqueness of each person.