Have you ever tasted New Orleans style seafood gumbo? You take some rice, tomatoes, green peppers, and then, fish, oysters, crawdads, and/or crabmeat—pretty much the kitchen sink approach to gumbo, but leave out the sink itself, dump them in a pot, mix in some spices and heat it up. In short order, you’ve got one of the tastiest dishes around. I love seafood gumbo.
I was thinking of seafood gumbo after the latest meeting of our church leadership. We are a pretty eclectic mix. We are people that work at GM; people that work for the government; retired people; a car mechanic; old people; young people; fat people; skinny people; an airline pilot (full disclosure: that’s me); we even have a D. Min. (that’s someone really smart). I was sitting around the table that evening and thinking, with all of our differences in education and careers and incomes, we get along pretty well together. No, we don’t always agree, but that’s the good part. That’s what makes us strong. Diversity gives us different strengths and weaknesses. Put them together and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In that fact lies the nature of what Jesus is up to in the world. He once prayed: that they [his disciples] may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me (John 17.23). Jesus makes seafood gumbo of people. His gumbo is the best there is.