Our diversity is our strength

Our diversity is our strength

Fourth Sunday of Easter

At the 2016 national meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, Mark R. Francis, CSV, said in his keynote: “Liturgy in our multicultural church needs to help us get over the presumption that our particular cultural world is the standard by which everything and everyone else is to be measured.”

It can be tempting to make church the place we go to gather with other like-minded Christians to escape from the problems of the world and to experience community with people just like us. Yet true Christian community, like Saint Paul’s image of the body of Christ, is diverse.

“Liturgy in our multicultural church needs to help us get over the presumption that our particular cultural world is the standard by which everything and everyone else is to be measured.” - Mark R. Francis, CSV Click To Tweet

We see this in John’s vision today. The throne of the Lamb is surrounded by a multitude “from every nation, race, people, and tongue” (Rv 7:9). What unifies them in worship is their faithfulness to Christ in imitation of his self-sacrificial love for others.

The flock of the Lord is called to be one in love, not homogenous. We are, in the words of author-activist Parker Palmer, a “company of strangers” who seek out those who are different from us, those who speak and pray, sing and live in ways that are unfamiliar to us. These strangers we call family, and for them we lay down our lives.

 
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”

Image credit: Quốc Trung, Unsplash, CC0.

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