June 22

Reflection

Our public documents as well as the teachings of the major religions proclaim that we are created equal. Believing that God is the ground of our being, we believe that everyone and everything is a product of God’s creative expression. We are all connected in God and each of us is a unique vehicle for God’s presence on this earth. In spite of our verbal commitment to these beliefs our actions often betray us. We are shocked when we read of acts of violence against those who are “inferior” or “different’. The horror in Charleston is the latest incident of senseless gun violence which was apparently a hate crime. Yet, are we not all complicit in this? Do we realize that often our acceptance of the underlying causes that permit these situations as the norm is contrary to all we say we believe? Where is the outrage that demands change? Are we willing to do our part? When will we, who call ourselves Christians, remember that Christ was nonviolent and did not reject anyone?

Prayer

O Lord, open our hearts and our minds to our connection with all and open our hearts to respect and rejoice in differences.

Action

Take some time to reflect on the wonderful diversity of God’s creation. Where do you subconsciously assume that God “made a mistake”? How does that affect your attitudes toward some people or other living beings?

Suggested Reading

Ever since the creation of the world God’s eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things God has made.
Romans 1:19-20

God works in and through what God has to work with, changing world views, different cultures, personalities, individual giftedness, institutionalized religion, our developing knowledge about the universe and the planet, and human limitations. We are all connected in God and we give God wonderfully diverse ways of coming to visibility.
Michael Morwood

Understanding and respect begin when we reach to see beyond our differences — when we are, at last, and through the grace of God, able to see ourselves in “the other” and “the other” in ourselves.
Patricia Farris

What we have to do… is to find a way to celebrate our diversity and debate our differences without fracturing our communities.
Hillary Clinton

Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without.
William Sloane Coffin, Jr

Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival.
Rene Dubos

Tolerance implies a respect for another person, not because he is wrong or even because he is right, but because he is human.
John Cogley

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