The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday, September 19, 2023, was written by Stephen Bendit of Colorado.
12 Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Luke 6:12-16 NRSV
Growing up as a preacher's kid, I attended a lot of different churches. Looking back, I see how every church that my dad served was distinct. The congregations, services, outreach programs, church camps, Bible studies, and songs were similar, but also different. All congregations worshiped God, but I was amazed at the many different ways of praising and serving God.
Jesus loves diversity! When he chose the 12 deciples, he picked people with differnt personalities, abilities, and professions: fishermen, a tax collector, Zealots. Jesus' closest non-disciple friends and companions were also quite a diverse bunch with different backgrounds and beliefs. But with these many different points of view and backgrounds, all that Jesus requested of them was to "follow me!"
Today's Christians are also a diverse group with different nationalities, professions, languages, cultures, denominations, and worship traditions. The companions of Jesus clearly show that he loved diversity! As we answer Jesus' call, "Follow me," we can find our common faith within our diversity.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
Stephen's reflection reminds us of the beauty of diversity. I invite you to re-read Stphen's reflection.
Dear Jesus, help us acknowledge and accept how others praise you, and lead us all toward becoming one body, your church. Amen.