There's a myriad of things I try not to waste brain cells on. How our hedge grows is one of them. When I used the hedge clippers, I never took a close look at what separated the bright green new growth from the dark green older growth. I was surprised to see them growing on the same stem.
The older growth seems to provide a vital link between the source of nourishment and new growth. You have to look closely to see where one ends and the other begins. Could that be a model for life communities?
I am blessed to serve in a school with a combination of newbies, prime time master teachers, and seasoned teachers. When I began my teaching career, it didn't take long to figure out that longevity isn't a guarantee of effective teaching. This year our newbies are giving veteran teachers a run for their money.
It's been such a joy to see veterans and novices come along side each other to support and inspire. It didn't take long to see our newbies have a great deal to contribute to us veterans, including energy and inspiration.
Watching our small, but effective teaching staff makes me think of the body of Christ. We don't have to look much further than Jesus' disciples to understand that He loves and embraces diversity among His followers. A tax collector, fishermen, a zealot, possibly a few tradesmen, quite an assortment. Being the radical He was, Jesus also dared to include women in His closest followers.
The Apostle Paul used Jesus' model of diversity and the needs of the growing church to go to the next level. In Paul's time, Rome had long been an established civilization which included tiered levels of society,from aristocracy to slaves.
In the first century, the city of Corinth was known as a trade center, and a center of depravity. Paul sends the newbies a message of community and purpose. "27 All of you together are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of that body. 28 And in the church God has given a place first to apostles, second to prophets, and third to teachers. Then God has given a place to those who do miracles, those who have gifts of healing, those who can help others, those who are able to lead, and those who can speak in different kinds of languages."(1 Corinthians 12: 27-28 ERV)"
It seems that God's Word is the great common denominator among the followers of Jesus. We don't need to be concerned about who may be new to the fellowship, only whether we are improving and promoting improvement in others. In order to grow in grace together, let us seek ways to embrace and celebrate diversity.