Daily Devotional for Small Group Discussion: One Hand
Questions for Reflection:
- How can celebrations of diversity contribute to or distract from the realization of humanity’s oneness?
- The goal of ecumenism is not the establishment of one religion, but the establishment of a community of religions. Is your church ecumenical? Why or why not?
- In what ways do we identify ourselves as global citizens?
Again a message came to me from the Lord: “When your people ask you what your actions mean, say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take Ephraim and the northern tribes and join them to Judah. I will make them one piece of wood in my hand.’” – Ezekiel 37:15 & 18-19 (NLT)
Celebrations and expressions of diversity always pique my interest.
I’ve visited the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dekota and listened to Native Americans talk about why the memorial and the Black Hills region itself are so significant to their culture.
I’ve talked to Muslims in Dubai during Ramadan and gained so much insight into why Muslims designate a special time of the year to abstain from certain pleasures in order to focus on spiritual integrity and family unity.
I’ve dialogued with students in The Philippines, wrestling with the theological quest to be true to the Gospel of Christ while being responsible leaders in a repressive political context.
Diversity allows us to discover ourselves through the lenses of people who are very different from us.
Yet, the wondrous diversity of the globe must still acknowledge the oneness of the globe itself. All human diversity is some variant of the same humanity.
Pandemics remind us that everyone on the planet is in the hand of one global environment.
The universal need for sabbath reminds us that despite our religious distinctions, we are all in the hand of one transcendent Ground of Being.
Elections in Paris, France remind people in Paris, Tennessee of how crucially interdependent the democracies of the world really are. Global economic stability rests upon the realization of divergent nations concerning their shared destiny, all in one hand.
Lord, when we allow our differences to divide us, please continue to remind us, that you’ve still got the whole wide world in your hand. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.