Diversity in Abundance

April 23, 2021

Scripture Resource Passage: 1 Corinthians 12

Extra resources are included at the end of today’s blog. Hopefully you will find them helpful.

Today’s Scripture resource passage proclaims diversity.  As it was at Creation, the profound presence of the Spirit encourages disciples’ appreciation for God’s expressive universe (Genesis 1:2). Christ’s churches are filled with diversity of sizes, colors, thoughts and attitudes.

God apparently values this variety, considering it to be more than an enhancement but divinely meant “…for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7).  We celebrate the differences.

Attend any sporting event and if fans of your opponent are present, and if they do not anticipate a crowd too rowdy, they are wearing team colors. Fans of the home team typically wear their own home-team colors. The differences and voices roar around arenas and stadiums.

Scripture teaches, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12). Friends, there is much more to creation than people. 

God’s extensive creation moves across the heavens as the “many parts,” adorn the night sky. God provides “many parts,” when we look at the variety of trees in our world. God also directed and designed the wondrous birds which flit about our world, ensuring their role in the “many parts.” 

Photo by Jan Kopu0159iva on Pexels.com

The night skies, God’s trees and birds remind disciples (when they are watching/listening), the Christ loves diversity. Each local church, bearing the marks of the Spirit, likewise instructs us, our God loves life’s variety.

Emphatically setting this truth to music makes God’s love for variety easy to recall. C. Herbert Woolston (lyrics) and George F. Root (music) were a forceful team writing in the era of North America’s Civil War (1861-1865). One portion of their song became a song in and of itself. Possibly you learned the cadence and words as a child. The message reinforces our understanding of God’s love for the people as “many parts,” within the Body. 

Jesus loves the little children,

All the children of the world.

Red and yellow, black and white,

All are precious in His sight,

Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Life Application

  1. In your experience, does diversity of opinion work in helpful or harmful ways with your family, your community and congregations you know best? 
  2. Enriching our understanding of the vast distinctives in God’s creation consider: T.E. Shaw, Fifty Common Trees of Indiana, Department of Forestry and Conservation, Purdue University, 1981;   Russell E. Mumford and Charles E. Keller, The Birds of Indiana, Original Paintings by William Zimmerman, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1984; Arthur P. Norton, Norton’s Star Atlas, Ed. Ian Ridpath, 20thedition, 1989. And for more of the truthful song’s story see “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” at www.hymntime.com

I look forward to seeing your comments and suggestions. Thank you for reading.

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

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