"Therefore, live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called…maintaining the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." - Ephesians 4:1-3
In a world so prone to disunity, so intent on noticing the differences that appear between one person and another and exploiting that, you see the beauty in every human being.
You delight in the magnificent array of shade and shape, of culture and context, of personality and purpose and you give God thanks for it. You see the divine intent in endowing creation with wonder and whimsy.
I am inspired by your vision, an ability to see into the heart and soul of neighbor and fully embrace all that they claim as their own in search of an identity and a pathway. You cry at their suffering, you sing at their accomplishments, you rejoice at their pleasure, and you celebrate their triumph.
Your walk through life finds you cultivating deep appreciation for the way we arrange our lives in patterns whose variegations mystify and satisfy. No two people are alike, you say, and you wouldn't have it any other way.
I want to walk this way with you. I choose to be proud of who I am and how God made me, but will not expect anyone else to conform to my choices. I celebrate the unity of human community that such an orientation invites, and the possibility for lasting peace it engenders.
Holy One, whose breath inhabits every living being and whose hands have fashioned us in your image: may we live more fully and faithfully our call to be agents of peace, builders of unity, and sustainers of a human community bound together in mutual love and respect for all.
John Dorhauer is the General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ.