Make No distinction

Sunday, April 28

4-28By Peter Judd of Kansas City, Missouri, USA

The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us.

—Acts 11:12

I often have said it would be easier for me if everyone in the church thought and acted like I do and had the same priorities. Although I say this jokingly, I must admit there is much truth in it. I confess that I am much more at ease with like-minded people than with those who are different.

So when my wife, Kris, and I decided to start attending Norton Heights Congregation in northeast Kansas City, Missouri, I quickly realized I was leaving my comfort zone. We started going there because Kris felt a strong call to minister with disadvantaged children. I went along to support her.

Norton Heights was then and still is a diverse congregation. Many people there are different from me in various ways. Educationally and socioeconomically, there are notable differences among the members. They cover a wide range: Some are new Christians, while others have been disciples for decades. Theologically, some are traditional, while others are progressive. In a small congregation, these differences make life interesting.

It has been easy for me to judge the ways and ideas of some to be inferior to mine. Yet whenever this happens I discover ways I am blessed and enriched by those who are different. The “me versus them” gives way to “us,” and I am humbled and judged by my thoughts that separate.

Over the years since I started attending Norton Heights I have come a long way in learning not to make distinctions. I have come to love the people of my congregation-not just those who are like me, but every one, no matter how different. We are family. We rejoice together as we become one in Christ.

Prayer for Peace
God of differences, God of common ground, may we bless others as we are blessed by them. May we be aware of the diverse gifts that are brought into your sanctuaries and embrace them for your purpose. May we welcome them and employ them to share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Welcoming Unity in Diversity

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will be part of the “us” team, working for Christ’s mission.

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