December 2018: Thought For The Month
OUR world today has become a global village where people from all walks of life, background, race, sex, age, religion etc., are able to meet together and interchange ideas, sometimes for the betterment of our world. It is paramount that we understand and appreciate the value that diversity and inclusion brings to our society.
It is incredible to know that, despite the fact that there are billions of us on earth, everyone is unique! There’s no one like you! In our diversity we need to recognise our individual differences. God the Creator has shown us his love of variety in creation - plants, flowers, animals, fish, birds, insects etc., and He created us humans male and female. (Genesis 1)
We are very blessed to live in such a multicultural community; and people living in some other parts of Britain are often amazed when they come here to visit and experience the rich diversity.
Why is diversity important in our local community of Fishponds?
We can learn from each other. We all have different opinions and ideas – some ideas we would never in a million years have thought of ourselves! We see different people dress in different clothing or speaking different languages, which can make us pause and appreciate the gift of God in the other. We can learn patience and tolerance – giving time to understand one another. We can learn by educating ourselves, be it our language skills, experiencing new cultures, new arts or just noticing the beauty of our world.
We support each other. We can support each other by standing up for those suffering abuse or bullying. We can support each other by listening and caring. This is support in a different way: - when we walk down our high street we see many different shops and businesses, from Halal Food to Indian Boutique; from Chinese to Caribbean Takeaways; from International Food Centre to Fish & Chips etc., – all of these are part of our community and as well as providing a valuable service they all pay taxes to local government which helps fund our schools, police, local parks, toilets and so on; thus helping to create a good locality for us all.
Sadly there are those who do not like difference or change. They just want everything to be the way they want it. This leads to unkindness and bullying (e.g. prejudice, racism, sexism, etc.) and even violence. We pray for peace in our community and for unity in our diversity.
In conclusion, ‘for in Him all thing were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, thrones and rulers… all things have been created through Him and for Him’ (Colossians 1:16-17). Our God has always and will always be a God who welcomes all, irrespective of our gender, culture, race, religious beliefs, political beliefs, financial strength etc. He sees us all as His loving children.
Merry Christmas and may your 2019 be blessed by Him who is able ...
Rev Beatrice Anayo
Stapleton Baptist Church