Unity without Uniformity and Diversity without Division

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For more than 10 years, my favorite "MCC mantra" is the one that forms the title of my devotional article for this week. No matter who said this phrase first, it has become bigger than any one person or any one congregation. It has come to define how we in MCC value being together-that being together is more important than proving we are right.

Since I returned from Pastoral Renewal, I have heard a lot of conversations among our members that seems more focused on agreement (or proving a certain point) than unity. With all the ways that world events and the current political climate are causing folks to retreat into the bunkers of their particular "camps," I want to gently remind all of us who are a part of this family of faith that we hold to a different set of values than those outside our walls.

When we joined MCC (yes, me included), we committed to spiritual community with everyone who has found MCCGSL to be their "place to call home." That is what it means to show one another the radical and unconditional love of God. This means that when we come together as spiritual family, we must exit our bunkers and enter into loving, grace-filled, Christian kinship. It does not mean that we cease having opinions-even passionately held opinions-but it does mean that we keep unconditional love at the forefront. It means that we will agree to disagree sometimes, because we refuse to practice a faith based on uniformity-a cookie-cutter-style of Christianity.

 I know you know this, but I also know that we are surrounded everyday by messages to the contrary. Those messages (from sources like Facebook, the news, other friends or family, and more) urge us to enter our bunkers and fire upon our all those who disagree with us, even our fellow Christian. Today I encourage you to look to the unifier we know as Jesus the Christ and recalibrate your heart once more. Let us continue MCC's long legacy of being a church of love, justice, and healing that refuses the temptation to make an opponent out of anyone who sits next to us in the pew...even when we inevitably find ourselves in disagreement with one another.

 Unity without Uniformity, and Diversity without Division.