One of the members of my church sent me an email after this past sermon, “Deeper Unity in a Deeper Diversity.” This person has given me permission to share this.
I share it with hopes that we can benefit from this person’s experience and honesty. May God help us all as we seek to maintain the unity of the Spirit in God’s church.
Disclaimer: The person not only shared his/her experiences. He/she shared some encouraging words to me about the sermon. I’m not trying to share this to imply that my sermon was good or anything like that. I’m sure many good folks heard the sermon and may not have come to the same conclusions as I have. But this person’s sharing nonetheless encourages and challenges me to reflect upon my own soul.
Email excerpt (italics mine):
In my second year of college, a group of new students joined my small group. They were loud, rowdy, and disruptive. I felt like they invaded my small group and permanently destroyed what it had and could have been… and I was bitter for this for many years.
Your sermon today really opened my eyes. I wanted diversity, but not difficulty… and if I didn’t want difficulty, then I’m really cherry-picking my “diversity”, which means I’m really not all about diversity at all… which means, I actually like convenience! I was so upset at having my awesome, comfortable small group shattered, that I just gave up trying to get to know them. I immediately thought, “It’s ruined, it’s over, it’s different now FOREVER!” I didn’t want to change the way I thought about things, I just had what I wanted in my head and wanted everyone else to fit it regardless of how different they were. It was tough for me to confront that about myself.
But anyway, wanted to thank you for the sermon today, it was very convicting and caused me to think about some things that I maybe didn’t really want to think about.