The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday, June 20, 2023, was written by Michael Joseph Hotchkiss of Virginia.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NRSV
A kaleidoscope is a tube-shaped toy containing mirrors and colored pieces. A person looks into one end of the tube and turns it to view constantly changing patterns. I started collecting these toys over 40 years ago because I was fascinated by the seemingly endless variety of designs they created. Over the years I began to realize that the universe itself is much like a kaleidoscope. We can look at the sky to view an ever-changing panorama. God created a vast array of plants, animals, rocks, and people, where there are seldom two exactly alike. How boring it would be if everything were the same! God has gifted us with a vast universe of diverse creations for our pleasure and God’s glory.
Michael’s reflection invites us to wonder at the splendor of the world around us. What are some of the aspects of nature that cause you to stop and behold their splendor? Maybe it’s the vast array of wildflowers, the movement of a dragonfly, or the changing colors of Fall. All around us, God has placed a diverse assortment of beautiful things and people that inspire us to awe. At times, it can be difficult to see the beauty in diversity, especially when there are those who lament its presence. Yet, it is in our diversity of expression, perspective, and cultures that we truly come to appreciate harmony. I invite you to join with those you love, to get outside and enjoy the beauty of our diverse world.
Creator God, help us to appreciate diversity in nature and in the people we meet. Amen. - Michael Joseph Hotchkins