As President of Harvest International Ministries (HIM), an international apostolic network, I spend a lot of time traveling outside the U.S. I enjoy my trips, especially getting to experience different cultures and meet wonderful people all over the world. I don’t admit it to many people, but one of my favorite aspects of traveling is getting to sample all the delicious food!
I love food and I am an adventurous eater. I seldom sample a food I don’t like. Maybe because I am Korean, I tend to favor Asian over European cuisine, but I enjoy eating both. The cornucopia of ingredients, spices, colors and scents over various types of dishes never ceases to amaze me and delight my taste buds.
Of course, I really enjoy traditional Korean dishes such as galbi (Korean barbecue), and all varieties of kimchi. However, when I come back home, no matter where I’ve been, I almost always want to go out and have good old American Chinese food. I never tire of chop suey or chow mein, sizzling rice soup, and all of the beef, pork, chicken and fish entrees. I relish all of them.
When I think about the amount of vegetables in most Chinese food, I’m surprised I like it so much, because I’m really not that big on vegetables, at least not in isolation. I can’t imagine anything more boring than a stalk of bok choy, for example. But when blended with some tender beef strips in a tasty brown sauce, that same bok choy becomes irresistible. It’s amazing how much better ingredients can taste in combination, than when eaten alone. “Variety is the spice of life,” the saying goes, and when it comes to food I must agree!
I also think “variety is the spice of life” when it comes to our social associations as people too. As we mix with others who differ from us, we are exposed to new ideas and understandings, challenged to apply our skills in new ways, and develop deeper respect and appreciation for the gifts and abilities others bring. Like a great Chinese dish with multiple ingredients, our community fellowship is so much richer as we blend together.
I think God feels this way about variety too, for He has created us in so many sizes, shapes and other physical characteristics, with so many different interests and talents. And He encourages His children to come together in heterogeneous communities of mutual respect, love and impartiality. In Galations 3:27-28, He reminds us: “All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ.”
God is not telling us that our differences do not exist. He is telling us that differences do not mean inequalities, for we are all of equal value and worth in Christ. God instructs us: “So in Christ, we though many, form one body, and each one belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5) “All of you be like-minded, sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” (I Peter 3:8)
God loves variety and He intends for our lives to be rich and full through the unity we have together in fellowship as His children. Please come and experience this fellowship with us this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM. Our guest speaker is Pastor David Hess, from Christ Community Church in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.