Multicultural Community

Uncommon Unity [by Becky Thurman]

When you walk in to a Proskuneo Youth Night, the first thing you might notice is the diversity. Every week we have students from all over the world come together. You might sit down next to someone whose family is from Iran, Congo, Burma, Sudan, Colombia, or even the United States. You never know who you will meet. The same is true at our Proskuneo School of the Arts, Proskuneo Worship Institute, and Proskuneo worship gatherings. We really like it this way.

Diversity by its very definition is different. It is uncommon for most people to be in a room like this. As Americans we are acquainted with the idea of being a “melting pot” of many nations. But, how diverse is your world on a daily basis? Most of us live within our culture – with those who are familiar to us.

For a moment, think back to a place and time when you met someone very different from you for the very first time. Perhaps it was someone with very dark skin or very white skin, or extremely fat, or inordinately tall, or someone who spoke a completely different language you had never heard before. Do you remember? Was it scary or exciting? Did you want to get closer or pull away?

We are continuously amazed as we sit in our diverse community of refugees and asylees and immigrants from around the globe. Many of our friends have fled from war. They have been persecuted just for being different. But here in the space we call Proskuneo, God levels the playing field. Someone from Thailand is sharing a coke with someone from Ethiopia. Someone from Syria is sharing their story with someone from Sierra Leone.

We didn’t have to put up signs encouraging them to come together. We didn’t have to lay out a pact of peace for a no-war zone. We simply set the table as if everyone is welcome. Because they are. We are unapologetic about our faith in the one true God, but we will not allow gender, or race, skin color, or faith to change what we believe to be true. Open arms open hearts. Open hearts open conversations. And open conversations open doors to truth-telling.

Unity is born in spaces like this. Diversity doesn’t have to lead to division. Not in God’s kingdom.

God’s Word tells us that every tribe, every nation, every people, every language will one day worship Him together around His throne. I don’t read anywhere that we will each have our own section of heaven. We will be together. We will worship together. We will live together in uncommon unity. At Proskuneo we just decided we wanted to see if this uncommon unity could happen here and now. We think it does.

“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

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