Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Celebrating diversity: cultural preferences

My life has been enriched because being part of a diverse church has made me aware of some of my cultural preferences which I don’t like. The white community tends to be more cynical – that’s in our culture. And we don’t honour age so much and I have learned from that. I have also learned from the fact that other cultures handle mourning differently. They come together and gather with those who grieve – whereas in a white individualistic culture we tend to ‘give people space’.

Sometimes I have learned that in some contexts people can hang around too long after a funeral! I tell you – it ain’t all good! ‘Man, we’ve got to feed them again...!’ It’s all very well having a culture where if anyone turns up you invite them in and give them food – but there are things to be done, you know! Time-keeping has its place – especially if you are catching a plane to get back to Jamaica!! But my life is enriched from being in a cross-cultural and a cross-generational church. I have been educated by it and I believe I have grown through being in a church like this - I believe I will continue to be enriched by it and I hope you feel the same.

And that is why we celebrate! It’s because we reveal something of the sovereign plan of God to save us and bring us together as one people. A picture of heaven and an example to the community that you can live in unity – that the gospel has the power to not only deal with your sin but to connect and reconcile differing people groups. Our diversity is a gift from God. We are part of his plan to bring all things together in Christ!

Thank you for our diversity, Lord. Thank you that you are the Lord of all nations and that one day you will draw all peoples and nations to your throne, bowing down to you. Thank you that this was always part of your plan and that it was all achieved through the selfless love of the Lord Jesus for us on the Cross. Through Him the dividing wall of hostility has gone and we have been made one for all eternity. Thank you, Lord!