This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending the Jefferson Choral Society’s presentation of “Bring on the Beatles!” It was a wonderful performance that I thoroughly enjoyed. One thing that I found particularly interesting about the choice of the music for this performance was the way in which it brought together folks of a variety of ages. From our own church, both our seniors group as well as our youth group attended, and everyone had a great time listening to the songs and singing along.
As I reflected on this later, I was reminded of how important it is for us to be together with folks who aren’t just like us. Our natural tendency is often to seek out people who are similar to us. We do this with things like age, gender, martial status, economic class, race and other characteristics. This is our natural tendency, but I don’t believe it is how we were created to live. We are created to enter into a loving community of folks who display the variety of God’s creating love. God is one and God is also a self-giving community of love as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It should be no surprise then that we are created to live in the same way as we are made in the image of our Creator.
When we find ourselves in relationship with those who are not the same as us, we find ourselves mutually enriched by their differences, even as we seek to be one as a community of faith. Indeed, unity does not mean uniformity. Older folks enrich the lives of younger folks with their wisdom and experience, while younger folks enrich the lives of older folks with their new ideas and their energy.
At the end of the day, I believe that we truly need each other, and when we segregate ourselves, we miss opportunities to display the beauty and variety of God’s creating love in the world. So, the question is, who is missing in your life that is different than you? How can you reach out to them and welcome them into your life, so that you can mutually enrich each other?