The Church of the Future is Unified in Diversity
Being “unified in diversity” seems like an oxymoron. Being “unified” means we are all the same, right? Diversity means we are all different. But just because two terms are opposites, doesn’t mean that we can’t hold both of them together, simultaneously. Two seemingly contradictory things can in fact be true at the same time.
When I think about Christ United and the people who attend, we have a lot of diversity. We have many different ages, from kids all the way up to those in their 90s. Our religious backgrounds are different: some are life-long Lutherans, others life-long Episcopalians. Others grew up Catholic, Methodist, Missouri synod Lutheran, Anglican. Some didn’t grow up going to a church. We have a diversity of political views: we have Democrats and Republicans. We have those who are liberal and those who are conservative. We have a diversity in sexual orientations. We have diversity in economic situations.
Each of us brings our own uniqueness to Christ United, and to the ministry and worship we do.
And while we bring all of this diversity and uniqueness, we do this ministry and worship together. The name of our church is Christ UNITED after all. Our logo shows the many different types of people, all around the cross.
We come together unified.
During worship we become unified in the words we say and read, in listening to the sermon, in the songs we sing, and in the written out prayers. We are diverse in what the words mean to us, in what we get out of the sermon, in the tones of our voices, and in the prayers we share aloud.
A little while ago I preached where our unified nature is most obvious in the service: when we receive communion. When we all come together in a circle around the altar, we are all the same in that one moment: We are children of God. Nothing more and nothing less.
This holds true even for those who are not physically with us. In the spiritual realm there is no physical distance. If you participate in communion while viewing on Facebook, you are participating with all of us.
In our diversity we worship one unified God.
Peace and blessings,