When we don’t respect difference…oh dear!
Last week, we reflected on loving ‘difference’. This week we’ll look at what happens when we don’t. In the Gospel there is a story of Jesus visiting his friends, Martha and Mary. Martha’s straight into the kitchen, cooking up a storm. Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, listening to him. Yes, you’ve guessed what happens next…Martha creates an incident…she takes Jesus to task because Mary is just ‘sitting there’, not like her, Martha, in the kitchen working. Not content with what she was doing, she got angry and disgruntled. If she had changed her attitude and appreciated what she was doing she could have celebrated Mary enjoying the words of Jesus. She could have recognised each one’s uniqueness in the situation. Then, the meal would have gone so much more pleasantly and she might have been able to suggest nicely that they might like to do the washing up!
One of the integral factors in living a peaceful, happy life is the ability to live ‘in our own skin’, to recognise, appreciate and enjoy the life that is our own. God enjoys making each of us uniquely and we need to share in God’s joy over who we are. When we do that, we will discover the freedom of heart to celebrate the uniqueness of others.
Loving God, you have made us each so different. Send us your Spirit that we may share your delight over us and that we may have the courage, wisdom and humour of heart to delight in others. And when people try us, let us see the face of Jesus in them. We ask this in his name confident that you will hear us.