I believe in a Creator God

For whom all of life is beautiful

A God who is diverse yet united within God-self

Who created and holds in perfect unity the wonderful diversity that is all around us

I believe in a God who does not regard one person or group as better than another

But who allowed a Moabite Ruth to be incorporated into a Hebrew family

And who used a Persian Cyrus to help liberate his people.

I believe in Jesus who was born as a human being in the Middle East

Who not only embraced and inhabited diversity within himself

But also privileged this reality within his Being and ministry

When at his birth he was visited and blessed by three visitors from the East

When he was protected by the Egyptians when those in power wanted to kill him

Who chose a diverse group of people to be his apostles and disciples

Who proclaimed it in his Luke 4 meditation

When he highlighted the woman of Zarepath and Naaman the Syrian;

Who was not accepted by his own but angered them because of his inclusiveness and big heart;

Who cured the Romans daughter and was proclaimed as Lord by the Roman soldier.

Who mixed with the sinners, the prostitutes and the tax-collectors

Who made it clear that the sun shines on the good and the evil

Who allows the wheat and the weeds to grow together

Whose cross was carried by Simon of Cyrene

and whose resurrection was first proclaimed by women

Who made forgiveness and righteousness a cornerstone of the new beloved community

Who proclaimed a reign where all would be welcomed and none would be rejected;

Who inspired Paul to say that in Christ there is no Jew nor Greek

But that we are all one in Christ Jesus.

I believe in the Holy Spirit who came on Pentecost Sunday

To create a deep unity of people of different cultures and languages

Thereby breaking down all the walls that divide us

and who still continue to unite us, especially in our diversity;

Because of all of this,

I believe that the Church and society exists for all people whom God has created on this earth

That diversity should be valued, treasured and nurtured by all

And not be allowed to lead to division, but rather celebrated

That the marginalised should be centred

That those at the centre take a leap of faith to become whole

So that the joy and justice that only the Holy Spirit can give

Should be and will be experienced by all. Amen

(Written by Rev Edwin Arrison, South Africa, 2018)