Assigning Value to Superficial Differences

For creatures who came from the same ancestors, we sure are good at finding ways to divide ourselves.  However you'd finish the statements, "I'm a..." and "He's a..." indicates what you notice about distinctions, perhaps what you value in them.

There is nothing wrong with being distinct or noticing superficial differences.  Being "color-blind," as in "I don't see race," is about as likely as not noticing if someone is unusually tall or abnormally short.  Those traits are often obvious, but assigning value to them isn't logical.  "He's tall therefore he must be a good leader" makes as little sense as "She's Asian therefore she must be smart."  Some tall people are good leaders, as are people of other heights.  Some Asians are smart and some are not.

I could go on and on with the different camps we put ourselves into - in and of itself, having a political preference doesn't make a person better or worse than the person with a different political preference; in and of itself, music taste does not demonstrate the quality of a person's character; in and of themselves, how someone was educated and what type of work she does and where she lives does not speak to her value.

With all the differences of which we're constantly reminded and told to find meaning, it's important we look for what unites us.

Sunday's lesson, 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13, reminds us that each member of the body of Christ has different spiritual gifts to offer, but every gift is of value.  Each is necessary for the whole.  The Holy Spirit enables these variety of gifts so that we, together, united in Christ, can serve the one we call our Lord.  We are made one in Christ, a deep unity that puts superficial distinctions in their proper place: interesting, but not divisive.

More on Sunday...