Unity and Diversity

Matt, over at From the Morning, has a thoughtful conversation going about diversity and unity. Therese blew me away when she commented:
"What unified them and should unify us is worship, not fellowship."
I don't think that I have ever thought about fellowship in the light of diversity. We are all very different and it makes sense that our fellowship with each other will reflect that diversity. Conversely, we bring this diversity with us and somehow find unity when we worship.

It reminded me of a time four years ago during a Sunday morning worship service at church. Ann and I had been attending a few months and liked the church okay. Then, on that one Sunday morning, as I was pouring my heart out in worship ... my eyes closed ... His presence seemed so rich and present ... I opened my eyes and saw people all around me entered into worship. I am not sure that I can communicate how much I identified with those folks at that moment ... it was transcendent ... even though they were so different than me ... that identification in worship was so strong ... it changed me.

A strong message of the kingdom is that we are so different and yet so similar. We are diverse in ethnicity, in language, in intelligence, and in callings ... even our worship expressions are different. Yet, we are so similar. We all experience pain and joy. We all need friends. We all need encouragement. We all need to be loved. This is where worship can make a difference. Worship can unite diverse people because it gives us access into His presence. In His presence those things that separate us fall away and we experience unity.


  1. What you have posted here is wonderful, Bob. Says it in a nut shell. Thank you!

  2. Well, glad to blow you away!

    *Beautiful* description of looking at other worshippers. Transcendant is the word, God's doing, not ours.

    You said it changed you. How? Did it make you stay there, no matter the lack of common background? Or what?

    I've had that experience so many times. I feel like we are praying with one mind and one heart, in one Body, in the Spirit.

    One of the first fruits of that experience is charity. Nobody's really a stranger. Being with people who are so different, who I might not or really wouldn't pick as friends "in the world," truly become my brothers and sisters in Christ, and loving them that way, their strangeness or annoyingness (and mine) fades into the background.


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