Many, But One

4 Jul

“My favorite thing about the United States?  Lots of Americans, one America.”  ~ Val Saintsburt

As a young boy learning history in school, I was impressed by the story of our country.  I learned that it was comprised of many groups of people.  There were a host of races and nationalities.  There were many different religions.  There were many beliefs, creeds, and cultures. To my young mind it seemed impossible to think that such a diverse group of people could be one nation; yet, indeed, we were.

No matter the nationality, creed, or culture, we were all Americans.  We learned to be proud of our nation and the ideals upon which it was founded.  We learned about the struggles of the past and heard about present struggles and those that would be coming in the future.  Why so many struggles?  Because we were a nation that was growing.  Growth pains are a real thing.

But again, in the midst of our growth pains, we were one.  Yes, that impressed the living daylights out of me when I was very young.  It still impresses me today and makes me proud of the collective group of people that we are who comprise this proud nation.

Is there room for growth?  Of course there is.  Will there be struggles still?  You know the answer to that as well.  If we keep our eyes and hearts open, we will be able to meet whatever comes our way.

Our faith fits into this same category, you know.  We are a diverse group of people.  We come from many nations and cultures and the richness of those cultures are celebrated by our faith.  Just as the people of our great nation were called to be one by our Founding Fathers, we realize that we are called to be one by our God.

In the Gospel accounts, Jesus never seemed to be impressed by people’s status.  He didn’t take into account whether they were Roman, Greek, Jew, or anything else.  He saw everyone as brother and sister and He treated them accordingly.  He loved indiscriminately and unconditionally.  He challenged His disciples to do the same.

That was a tough challenge for the apostles and disciples to embrace.  It’s no easier today.  Nonetheless, we are called to embrace the Lord’s challenge to live as brother and sister.  We are many but we are one.  One in the Lord.  One in our faith.  We celebrate that and do our best to live as one with every person we encounter.

Happy Independence Day!

FAITH ACTION:  Celebrate the diversity among us and the unity that we embrace in our nation and in our faith.