November 20, 2008

Unity and Diversity

Ephesians 4:1-6

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:3


We may be amazed to see Paul arguing for the unity of the body of Christ as he also explores the amazing diversity of gifts given to the members of Christ’s body. Through the Holy Spirit, each of us receives spiritual gifts that add a unique contribution to the body and its ministry.

We often think that the best way to create unity is to reduce diversity so that everyone looks and talks as much alike as possible.

Even though the Lord by his Spirit calls the church from every tribe, tongue, and nation, we try to limit the differences and maximize the similarities. The cookie-cutter approach to individual believers seems logical and feels comfortable.

But Paul argues that the tension between similarity and diversity needs to be carefully maintained in order for the church to be truly Christ’s body.

The bond of peace that is ours in the Spirit binds us together as we fully use the diverse gifts we have received. When we put all these diverse gifts together, we can create the unity of a whole body, bound together in love, and completely able to serve our Master.

What’s your place in the body of Christ?

Does using your unique gifts serve the church’s oneness?

We celebrate our diversity, giving thanks for your gifts, and we ask that you, O Lord, will indeed bind us together. In the name of our Lord Jesus we pray. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Brink

Rev. Harvey Brink has retired from active ministry in the Christian Reformed Church, having served congregations in Michigan, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Illinois, and
Washington. He and his wife Maxine live near their children and grandchildren in western Washington.

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