In 1994, over a period of about 100 days, more than 800,000 people were murdered in the African nation of Rwanda. The violence occurred between two ethnic groups, with the majority Hutus slaughtering the minority Tutsis. But why so much hatred and violence between these two groups of people? Well, it was not because of any significant religious, cultural, or ethnic differences. In fact, many of the differences between them were fabricated or embellished by European colonialism, for the purposes of dividing and conquering the people of the region. And over time, this manifested itself as anger and hatred between two groups of people who shared the same historical and cultural past! In 1994, this powder keg of hatred exploded resulting in one of the most horrific and violent events of the 20th century. As I mentioned earlier, more than 800,000 Tutsis were murdered during a period of less than 100 days! I share this history with you as an example of how humanity has created so much division among people, resulting in the most horrific consequences! Division and disunity destroy many things, and just as with the situation in Rwanda, the reasons for it often make little sense! I think there is something within the human psyche that desires affiliation; belonging to something that makes folks somehow feel superior or better than others! And we can list plenty of examples of how the world has suffered for it! Nearly every culture, in Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia, at some point has endured this negativity, divisiveness and hatred for folks who were considered different! Divisiveness, finding reasons to separate us, to see others differently has been so detrimental! But there is a better way! History also teaches us, when we collectively embrace our humanity, celebrate, or emphasize what we have in common, it can be uniting and beneficial! I know it is popular nowadays to encourage folks to celebrate diversity and respect others, which is good. But perhaps the best way to do this is to celebrate what we have in common, which is our humanity! We are all God’s Creation! Now, there is no doubt the world has a long way to go! There is still far too much divisiveness based upon stuff that is as intentionally detrimental; used to separate folks, just like what occurred in Rwanda! And please do not underestimate the possibility of such horrific things repeating! So, it is important that we show the world this can all be different! For those of us proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, collectively we are as culturally and ethnically diverse as an anyone or anything in this world. Our faith has been embraced folks by throughout this world, and even though we might live, look, and like differently, what we have in common is belonging to the body of Christ! And here is something Crazy! I told you about what happened in Rwanda. Well, would you be surprised to learn that nearly two-thirds of Rwandans consider themselves to be Roman Catholic or Christian? Yet that did not stop the divisiveness, hatred, and violence! I am not suggesting that divisiveness, ethnic and cultural differences always lead to such extremes, but it has happened enough even in supposed Christians cultures that we are clearly not doing something right! Well, for us today, let us strive to show the world how Christians can do it right! Instead of using our differences to separate us, let us celebrate what we have in common, which is our faith. Today’s scripture is once again a letter written by the Apostle Paul who, as he does on a few occasions, emphasized how our faith is more important than our differences. During those times, there was divisiveness between Jews, Greeks, Romans, and others non-Jews sometimes called Gentiles. But Paul instructs Christians to remember God does not see these differences that seem to be so important to humanity. Verse 12, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13 For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” We need to hear God’s Word loud and clear! This is so important to the world! As Christians, belonging to the body of Christ, we need to demonstrate the power of God’s Love and our faith to bring people together despite their difference! We need to demonstrate there is a way to overcome the divisions, racial and ethnic hatred of this world, and our society. We need to show the world that it is possible to love others even if they do look, talk, or think differently. And it all needs to start with the body of Christ! We need to lead the world! As God inspired the Apostle Paul to instruct the church, 1 Corinthians 1:10, Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 2 Corinthians 13:11, Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Galatians 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Once again, we need to show the world what is possible, we are the body of Christ! John 13:35, By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Regardless of our differences, let us strive to love each other today!