This morning I woke up thinking of the rainbow. God must love color. The rainbow is filled with beautiful colors. To the human eye we see seven shades of color, but in reality there are many more. God must love color because we see the beauty of color all around us. We see it with the blossoms each spring and the leaves in the fall. We see color everywhere we look.
During our recent family vacation we went to an amusement park. I can no longer ride the rides but enjoy being with my family and taking in some of the shows. It also means I wait around a lot while they ride the roller coasters. I truly don’t mind since I love to watch people. I am fascinated by it. I love to watch their expressions and wonder about their stories. Most of all I am amazed by the variety of God’s creation. All the beautiful color of mankind.
Color. God didn’t stop with expressions of color in nature He also created people of color. Glorious color. As I watched various families I realized the diversity of His creation. Like the rainbow mankind is not just a few colors but there is a wide array of shades ranging from pasty white to the darkest of dark skin and pretty much everything in between. Even within individual families of the same race there is such a diversity of color.
As I was thinking and watching my mind began to drift to thoughts of God’s community. His people are of various colors and nations. We have grown up in different cultures with different ideas of how community should look. We do look different, we talk different and often live different from one another, and yet God calls us to be in community with one another. I have always been somewhat confused by the church and her tendency to be segregated. You have separate churches that are predominantly African American, Chinese, Spanish and Caucasian. I’ve always wondered why? Why do we tend to gravitate toward those who look (and act) most like us? Why do we judge based on color or culture?
It truly makes me sad that we seem to allow color and culture to separate us. I don’t think it’s the way God intended it to be. We have so much to learn from one another. I believe when we segregate we in effect are missing parts of the body. I have learned so much from my South American daughter in law. Yes her culture is different, but let me tell you there is a lot we can learn from their tight sense of family and community. She has helped me see how sometimes my American culture can come across as insensitive and unkind. For example did you know in Latin culture they really do not understand any form of sarcasm? They don’t understand the “oh! I’m just kidding” kind of talk. They don’t even have a word for sarcasm. To them the person is just saying what they mean, which often comes across as very unkind and hurtful. Maybe they are right, maybe we shouldn’t say anything unkind or borderline mean then say, “Oh I was only joking!”
Anyway, before I totally get off topic, back to color. I just keep thinking how beautiful a church worship service might look with people of all color lifting their hands together. Kind of like the beauty of the rainbow. The color of community should be multifaceted, I think that is the way God intended it to be.
We have much to learn from our brothers and sisters of color and those who have grown up in different cultures. I wish we weren’t so segregated. Even in my own church, which is predominantly white, I find there are attitudes and prejudices against those who may be of a different color or culture. I realize we all have prejudices of some kind but in the community of God is there really a place for them? Shouldn’t we all be treated the same?
Shouldn’t we work to over come prejudice and take the time to get to know one another. I have found that the prejudices I have had are often unfounded once I get to know a person. Oh let us embrace diversity! Let us love one another and be unified in Christ!
Let us show the world the true colors of a community that is unified in Christ! One that is filled with love, forgiveness, and the building up of one another.
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