By Eileen Turner of Portland, OR, USA
But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. —Galatians 3:25–29 NRSV
While driving along a busy interstate highway, I listened to the local classical music station—a favorite of mine. The rhythm of a familiar symphony held my attention. I found myself tapping on the steering wheel and humming along. I looked through the windshield to the car ahead of me. The sight of a young man bobbing his head and swaying to the same beat of classical music surprised me.
Here were two unrelated people, unknown to each other, both expressing the joy and appreciation for beautiful music from the same radio station.
Sometimes we are unaware of the “connectedness” we have with those around us. Opening our eyes, listening with our ears, and being keenly present to the moment allow us to find common ground and share our story.
Just as the young man in the car ahead of me shared nothing in common with me but a choice and appreciation of music, Christ often baffled his disciples when he raised concerns and questions about people his disciples didn’t approve of or understand. Yet he connected with those people. We are all one in Christ Jesus.
Different as we are, there are always ways in which we can connect and share.
Prayer for Peace
God of all people, the familiar and the unknown, help us be aware that connecting with the stranger is connecting with Christ. When we make a friend, we are sharing peace.
Spiritual Practice: Welcoming Unity in Diversity
Meditate on Unity in Diversity. Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle.
Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “challenging” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep us from loving one another.
Today, God, I will look for common ground and dismiss differences.