Diversity and Accommodation

By Ray A. Newbold

In the first book of the Bible (Genesis—the beginning), in chapter one the Creation is described. We would consider this account a ‘macro’ description, then it is left to mankind to define things in finer detail. The created universe extends from single cell structures to outer space. On the’ micro’ side, we can see single cells through microscopes, yet there are chemical elements and structures deeper down.

Within this vast range we make multitudes of subsets dividing people and things. In the human population our census count divides by gender, age class, race, family income, in states, counties, communities, and many more. Even in sports such as baseball every pitch is accounted for; fast ball, slider, curve ball, strike, ball, walk, hit, foul, out, rbi, etc. 

To illustrate the coming together of diversity, we can use an example of birds as an analogy of families. Many like to watch birds come to their backyards. There are varieties of avian visitors in size, color, chirps, and songs at the break of dawn. A tree in the yard is useful for birds to perch and look around. Here they will feel protected from predators that come their way. A birdhouse is a suitable and safe place to hatch their young. They furnish the house with their own nest; a marvel of their craftmanship. Then there can be a feeder where the property owner can daily provide seeds for meals. Some birds seem to be attracted by the presence of other birds and just come and look for worms and insects in the grass. But the best attraction to the property is a birdbath! All birds need a drink of water and some enjoy a refreshing wash.

In the religious community, across the scope of congregations, some worship in a serious, prayerful, and calm atmosphere while others are expressive in joy, shouts, singing, and ‘amens’. There are all degrees in between. Like the water for birds, the essential sustenance for the Christian community is its sacred Scripture; Bible truth is the common thread.

As generations move along through time, children become adults. Adults assume leadership. Lives pass on and traditions change. We must guard the sacred Word but can be amenable to changes in expressions of worship. The church house is a safe place for families to gather as they parent their young. Nourishment and spiritual growth come through teaching. A vision toward the outer landscape finds others who have not found a place of accommodation that attracts them.

Diverse people groups across the human race could come together as one. ‘Could’ is not ‘will’, and in communities where we live, the first thing to attract others will be a welcoming spirit. We must be polite in our manners, pleasant in our greetings, and helpful to the needs of others. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

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