I remember as child, looking out the window just after heavy rains to see if the rainbow has appeared. I would think, how come? Where does it come from and how far should I go to see it closer or maybe touch it? Its beauty was beyond my imagination.
Last October, we were helping to organize a worship service and the theme happened to be “rainbow.” We reflected on the rainbow in terms of the differences we found within our communities as gender, religion, culture and race. Looking at the rainbow, we wondered how we can also be united to bring such a beautiful structure in our diversity communities.
Differences often shock us initially. Last year I went to Basel for a meeting. Just arriving outside the meeting building, I saw statues of sheep and, to my surprise, they were blue. Is this type only in Europe? I decided to ask why the sheep were painted blue (because in my mind, white should be most appropriate) and the woman quickly and softly answered, “Why not??” Looking at my puzzled eyes she had to explain more, “Bethel it does not matter what colour it is, it’s still a sheep.” It is in this I saw how my prejudices determine my interaction with people, and my struggle to fit in this new community I moved to.
I became aware and attentive to where I was a victim of difference and where I have contributed to victimize those who are different than me at school and in the community. Had I not lived in this seemingly strange land, I was not going to see the harm I had brought to those I called “other,” as it seemed normal and followed a standard pattern. I definitely needed this experience to find my image in God and see others in the same way. Jesus has told us how unity and diversity are reflected in God’s Trinitarian nature, where the Father is different from the Son, as much as the Son is different from Father and Holy Spirit and yet, they are united and work together as one.
As we struggle in our diversity to work as one, Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 helps us understand how the diversity and unity work. There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.
We are all a part of the body of Christ.
World Council of Churches, Switzerland
GMF International, Class 2014