Scripture Reading: Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, “Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.” –Luke 10:5-11
Living in diversity dates at least back to the early stories of Genesis where we see Abram dealing with the people of the new land to which he had immigrated. The story of Moses is one of oppression and servitude as the Israelites lived among the Egyptians who once had welcomed them. The battles of the tribes from Jericho to King David are some of the most brutal reading one could ever explore. Following the relative peace of David and Solomon, Israel fails and falls once again into slavery.
Jesus revolutionized the ways God’s people dealt with diversity. He recognized the image of God in all people and encouraged his followers to do the same. The story in our scripture today does not tell us if the ones sent out were only interacting with other Jews or just any people with whom they came into contact. After experiencing the factions and fractures among the Jews, reconciliation within that community of faith may have been a first step. I dare say reconciliation is needed among those of us who call ourselves Christian today, if we are to bring about the oneness for which Jesus longed.
In the final analysis doing the battle to determine who is right and who is wrong does not help. Dialogue that helps us all grow in spirit and in truth does help.
Prayer: Lord gives us ears to listen from our hearts, and mouths to speak from Yours. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.